Reps Fume, As Ministry Writes Embassies To Disregard Provision Of 2022 Budget

The House of Representatives has expressed displeasure over an alleged directive to foreign missions by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs to disregard some provisions of the 2022 appropriation act on financing of embassies capital expenditures.

This is just as the House directed the ministry to “expressly comply with the provision of section 11 of the 2022 appropriations act (Power of Nigerian embassies and missions)”.

To this end, the House invited the minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and permanent secretary of the ministry, Gabriel Aduda, for allegedly violating the provisions of the law. Onyeama and Aduda are to meet with Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house, on Tuesday.

The member representing Jalingo/Yoro federal constituency of Taraba State, Kassim Maigari, had in a motion said the the lawmakers included a clause in the 2022 appropriations act to tackle the poor state of nation’s embassies and missions by allowing them to spend their capital component without requesting ministry’s approval.

Maigari said, the clause was added in the appropriation bill to eliminate the “bureaucratic bottlenecks” affecting the effective operations of the embassies.

He, however, expressed disappointment that the ministry wrote letters to the nation’s embassies requesting that they disregard the law.

“That section of the 2022 appropriations act, which was carefully crafted by the legislature and assented to by Mr. president to address the rot, lethargy and official inertia that have been identified as bane to the development of our foreign service and missions, is now being challenged by some officials of government and unpatriotic individuals at the ministry of foreign affairs headquarters,” he said.

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“If the effrontery and impunity of those officials in the ministry of foreign affairs that are so flagrantly challenging a law signed by Mr. president, using diverse means, including writing of letters to counter provisions of an existing piece of law, are allowed to go unaddressed, we may wake up one morning, God forbid, to hear that the national assembly has been sacked by the mere letter of one senior government official in one Ministry of government.

The motion was unanimously adopted after it was submitted to a voice vote by Gbajabiamila.

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