AN OPEN LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY GOODLUCK JONATHAN PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA ON THE PLIGHT OF NIGERIAN DIPLOMATS IN EUROPE AND THE AMERICAS
On October 23, 2012, a prominent Nigerian newspaper (Nigerian Tribune) published a news item entitled “Nigerian diplomats in Europe, Americas stranded”, written by Taiwo Adisa. It was reported that the Nigerian Government had failed to pay the salaries and allowances of Nigerian diplomats “in most parts of Europe and the Americas” and “that Nigerian diplomats now have to resort to using Ghanaians as fronts when looking for accommodation because most landlords refuse to let their houses to Nigerians.” It was further reported that this issue is most profound “in Switzerland, Italy, Canada, United States and Germanyâ€¦with the failure of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to remit the salaries and allowances of the foreign service staff to the respective embassies and high commissions on time.” According to the Nigerian Tribune, “the practice of delaying funds for the running of Nigerian embassies and high commissions across the world has been a long standing issue and that many times, the diplomats are owed five months salaries.”
As an organization representing Nigerians in Canada, NIDO Canada is deeply concerned about the damage this issue has on the image of Nigeria. Nigerian diplomats serving abroad, including the above mentioned locations, are your accredited representatives charged with the responsibility of promoting and protecting Nigerian interests. We are troubled that “the failure of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to remit their salaries and allowances” is bound to negatively impact on their morale, and thus could potentially affect their performance. It must be humiliating for these Nigerian diplomats “to resort to using Ghanaians as fronts when looking for accommodation because most landlords refuse to let their houses” to them.
NIDO Canada is aware that the budget for the Nigerian Foreign Ministry has been approved. We are also aware of the premium you place on the work of Nigerian diplomats in helping to shape and implement the foreign policy of Nigeria under your presidency. We therefore appeal to you to intervene in this matter to ensure that all outstanding salaries and allowances are promptly paid to the affected staff; as well as to institute measures to prevent any further occurrence of this situation. As the giant of Africa, this sort of news is not the type of publicity that will enhance Nigeria’s position in the global community. NIDO Canada is ready, willing and able to provide your office with expert advice on how best to promote Nigeria’s image in Canada.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS, NIDO CANADA
Chief Emmanuel Mbulu, BA; MBA; MPA (Chair), Isaac Okoboh, BBA, MBA, (Treasurer); Francis Omoruyi, EdD, (Secretary) O. Igho Natufe, PhD (Chief Executive Officer)
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