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Fund embassies or merge some, Senate tells FG

…confirms 2 journalists, 38 others as ambassadors-designate

The Senate, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to properly fund Nigerian embassies across the world or merge some of them to end their prevailing and embarrassing financial difficulties. The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who presided over the plenary, made the call in his remarks shortly after the Chamber confirmed 39 non-career and one career ambassadorial nominees, earlier forwarded to the lawmakers for approval. Lawan lamented the pathetic state of most of the nation’s embassies arising from poor funding, arguing that it was better to merge some of the commissions in order to adequately fund them.

The Senate’s approval of the nominees followed the presentation of a report of the screening of the nominees by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs by its Chairman, Senator Bulkachuwa Muhammad (APC Bauchi) and consideration of the report at the Senate Committee of the Whole. In the confirmation of the non-career ambassadors, two journalists – the former Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian newspaper, Debo Adesina representing Oyo State, and former Politics Editor of ThisDay newspaper, Oma Djebah from Delta State, were among the nominees confirmed.

The Senate also confirmed the nomination of six women who were in the list forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari to the apex Assembly for approval about a month ago. The Senate, however, suspended the confirmation of Air Commodore Peter Ndabake Gana Rtd. (Niger state) and Yusuf Mohammed (Yobe) because the Committee on Foreign Affairs noted in its report that there were some controversies about their nominations, which were not resolved during screening. Similarly, the Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South); Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda (FCT); Senators Gabriel Suswan (Benue) and Yusuf A. Yusuf (Taraba) all complained of non-inclusion of their respective areas in the selection of ambassadors-designate. Also, Senator Danjuma La’Ah, representing Southern Kaduna Senatorial District told the Senate that his area had been consistently left behind in the scheme of things in Kaduna State.

The aggrieved La’Ah said: “Mr. President, I want to bring to your notice that my area is left out in everything. It doesn’t matter that we didn’t vote for the APC, but let the whole world know that we are left behind. But I thank God that I am here representing my people.” Other confirmed nominees include: Engr Umar Suleiman (Adamawa); Mr Kevin Peter (Adamawa); John J.Usanga (Akwa Ibom); Chief Elejah Onyeagba (Anambra); Abubakar D. Ibrahim Siyi (Bauchi); Philip K. Ikurusi (Bayelsa); Hon. Tarzcor Terhemen (Benue); Paul Oga Adikwu (Benue); Al-Bishir Ibrahim Al-Hussain (Borno); Prof. Monique Ekpong (Cross River); Ominyi N. Eze (Ebonyi); Yamah Mohammed Musa (Edo); Maj.-Gen. C. O. Ugwu (Enugu); and Dr. Hajara I. Salim (Gombe).

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