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Cash crunch: FG’ll close ‘useless’ embassies, minister says



DETENTION OF NIGERIAN STUDENTS: FG summons Turkish ambassador

Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama on Thursday stated that the Federal Government has no plans to shut down any of its embassies and high commissions as a result of the credit crunch.

He however explained that government may close some embassies that were of no use to the country.

He stated this in Lagos during an inspection visit to the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), a parastatal under his ministry.

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Fielding questions from newsmen on whether the foreign missions will be shutdown, Onyeama said: “We’re looking more at rationalisation. We still believe that we can cut cost through all kinds of ways and do more targeted manning of those embassies. But, if there are one or two or three that are totally useless to us, then we might close those ones.”

The country has about 119 embassies and missions abroad.

He said the government was also working with other African countries to boost the economy through free movement, as, according to him, “the level of intra-Africa trade is really low.”

He vowed to help restore NIIA to one of Africa’s leading think-tanks, saying: “We need to give you the wherewithal to succeed.”

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