Nigeria closes embassies in Sri Lanka, 2 other countries

The Federal Government says it has closed the country’s embassies in Sri Lanka, Czech Republic and the Republic of Serbia, while the mission in Ukraine was also downsized.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Godffrey Onyeama, who revealed this in Abuja while speaking on the activities of the ministry on Tuesday, said the measure was taken due to lack funds in maintaining the missions.

The minister noted that before the closure Nigeria had 119 foreign missions, adding that the reduction of Nigeria’s foreign missions remains one of the agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

“Every embassy has written to us about their huge financial demands and when we go to these embassies we see clearly very unattractive state that does not reflect well on the country. Very often the staff of the embassy really find things extremely difficult.

“Clearly, if we want to operate on the scale and scope in which we are at the moment with over a 100 missions around the world, we need to spend a lot more.

Also, the minister observed that although Nigeria has spent a lot, it was not enough, compared to what other countries around the world spend

“What I am saying is that rather than having this terrible circle of inadequate funding for missions, headquarters and so forth we have to reduce the scope.

“We should have foreign missions that we can fund, we might not necessarily close the embassies per se, it might be reducing the number of staff in the embassies.

“Because what we found out is that it is more expensive to close the embassies than operating them,” he said.