Suspended Perm Sec fingered in the financial crisis facing the foreign missions


The dire financial state of Nigerian missions abroad, especially in Europe and Asia, has put some of the missions in legal battles as service providers drag them to court to recover their debts.

In a 28-point “Non-Paper” document addressed to President Bola Tinubu, the officers under the aegis of the Concerned and Patriotic Foreign Service Officers confirmed the unpleasant development.


The foreign officers painted a bleak picture of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ financial situation since the appointment of Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa as the Permanent Secretary.

The report which SaharaReporters obtained on Tuesday, highlighted the urgent need for intervention to address the crisis, which has left missions struggling to operate effectively.

“In the last 24 months, all Nigerian Missions abroad have received 20 percent of their budgeted allocation. The affected Missions wrote to Amb. Lamuwa, more than 12 months ago, to appeal for the budget shortfall, a result of government’s policy on the unification of the exchange rate, to be brought to the attention of Mr. President, but Ambassador Lamuwa rather devised a plan to suffocate Missions and utilise the untoward situation for his personal gains.

“There are several Nigerian diplomatic Missions that have backlog of payments as much as 10 months due to service providers. Officers have had to conduct their diplomatic duties for Nigeria and pay service providers, utilising personal, often times borrowed, funds or their meagre allowances, at the expense of their welfare and to the discomfort of their families, to avoid a dent on the image of the country.


“Without doubt,” the officers lamented that this disturbing situation and looming embarrassment would continue to have adverse repercussions on Nigeria’s relations with other friendly countries and strategic partners.


“Many service providers, in a number of countries, have now resorted to taking Nigerian Missions to court and debt enforcement tribunals, as a result of these embarrassing debts.


“The possible implication of this development is that diplomatic documents for the acceptance of Mr. President’s appointed Ambassadors may not be honoured on the basis of unpaid debts to service providers, in some of these countries,” they noted.

“The simple administrative action Amb. Lamuwa was required to undertake was bring up the urgency and gravity of this matter, early, to the attention of Mr. President, through the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs,” but he did not do so for his selfish and nepotistic agenda.


According to them, several Nigerian missions in Asia and Europe have become a significant financial burden to the government due to their indebtedness to local service providers.


This is attributed to inadequate administrative capacity, poor financial planning, and the ineffective leadership of Ambassador Lamuwa as permanent secretary.


As a result, these missions have accumulated substantial debts, causing financial embarrassment to the Nigerian government in their host countries.


“A few cases include our Embassy in Rome which has been unable to fulfil its rental obligations to landlords – with outstanding rents of about 14 months due to Officers – while Foreign Service Allowances (salaries) due to serving Officers have not been paid for more than six months.


“The Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations of Office in Geneva has also not been able to pay the salaries of its Officers in 2024, despite receiving an allocation with massive shortfall for January-June 2024, due to backlog of debts. Our Missions in Brussels, Tehran and Bern, among others have also continued to groan under excruciating debt and may not be able to navigate this financial conundrum, except with a supplementary appropriation, to address these policy-induced shortfalls in allocations to Missions, or through financial interventions,” the group warned.

Sahara Reporters


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