The House of Representatives is to facilitate increased budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to implement the various reforms that would project Nigeria’s image positively.
The Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs Yusuf Buba Yakubu stated this when the Minister of Foreign Affairs appeared before the committee at the National Assembly, Abuja, for 2021 Budget defence.
Mr. Bubaa Yakubu explained that the numerous reforms in the nation’s foreign policy can only be achieved or effective through proper funding for the implementation of the policies.
On the maltreatment of Nigerians outside the country, the Chairman expressed concern that despite the successes, Nigerians suffer great assault and insult in many parts of the world.
“In spite of the much you have done these past years, Nigeria, as a nation, remains the whipping child of the world; we are buffeted on all sides and our nationals still suffer the very poor fate of carrying the green passport that many parts of the world hate to see. The problem is not about you, it is not about us in the House, but it concerns and worries us that we cannot get our international image to fit into the acceptable module of the international community.
“From Ghana to Gabon, South Africa to Libya, Nigerians remain at the receiving end of, most times, state-supported violence and all forms of ill-treatment in foreign jurisdictions, including Europe, the Americas and Asia.” He said.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geofery Onyeama had earlier solicited for the lawmakers’ support and intervention for implementing reforms in the country’s foreign policy.
Mr. Onyeama, however expressed the confidence that the existing cordial relation between the executive and legislative arms of government would make the country to assume its leading position among the developing nations.
“When you look at what the Ministry gets compared to other ministries, foreign affairs is underfunded, especially when you compared it to similar countries and even smaller countries like Egypt, South Africa who has a similar number of missions to our own.
“You will find out that you cannot compare. Ours is really much lower.
Even though the federal government has competed for interest, including security and Education, any suggestion of collaborations between committee to get more money for the ministry, would be appreciated.
And for the size of a country, giant of Africa, we supposed to defend the interest of Africa, the black race around the world.
We have a vast network of technical assistance programme to the Pacific, to the Caribbean to other Africa countries and we want to be a big player, to sit at the table as one of the countries running the world.
And to be able to do that, we just need so many more resources.” Mr. Onyeama argued.
Source: Voice of Nigeria