- Screens 34 so far
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs will today conclude the screening of 47 ambassadorial nominees sent to the upper chamber last month by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The committee screened 19 nominees wednesday in addition to the 15 it earlier screened on Tuesday, thus bringing the number of those screened so far to 34. Thirteen more nominees will be screened thursday.
The committee Chairman, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, in her remarks at the end of yesterday’s exercise, assured the nominees that the committee would bring the exercise to a close today.
However, the committee took cognizance of the woeful performance of some of the nominees screened on Tuesday and hence, relaxed the intensity of questions it asked those screened yesterday with a view to saving them from public embarrassment.
During her screening, one of the nominees, Mrs. Ngozi Ukaeje, canvassed the need for Nigeria to review its foreign policies if the country must witness rapid development.
Ukaeje, a nominee from Imo State, said reviewing Nigeria’s foreign policies had become imperative in view of the enormous roles the country plays in Africa.
She said even though President Muhammadu Buhari had the plan to make the country better, more attention needs to be deployed towards promoting the nation’s developmental agenda.
Ukaeje said: “As a developing country, we tend to be playing a big role in Africa. Our foreign policy has always been to take care of other African countries. Knowing full well the national interest it takes to achieve that, there should be a review of our foreign policy even with the ongoing agenda of the president to fight corruption, develop the economy and tackle insecurity.
“With these three, I will advise the foreign minister to do a memo to the president because the country has lost a lot. The main focus should be to review our foreign policy to enable government look more inwards to prioritise and tackle our internal challenges. This will help to develop our country.”
However, some of the nominees lamented poor funding of Nigerian embassies and high commissions abroad, pointing out that the development makes the discharge of the commissions’ responsibilities to Nigerians in such countries cumbersome.
Others disclosed that they had not been paid two months’ salaries and thus called for greater funding to enable them live up to their personal responsibilities.
Those screened by the committee yesterday were Bello Kazaure (Jigawa) and Adesesan Olatunde (Ekiti), Sunday Itegboye (Edo), Iliyasu . A. Paragalda (Adamawa), Iyang Udoh-Inyang (Akwa-Ibom) and Obinna Chukwuemeka Agbugba (Abia).
Others were Martins Nyong Cobham (Cross River), Ngozi Ukaeje( Imo), Rahmatu Dunama (Taraba), Nonye Esther Udo (Anambra), Munir Liman( Bauchi) and Odeka Janet Bisong (Cross River).
Also screened were Umaru Zainab-Salisu (Kebbi), Momoh Sheidu Omeiza( Kogi) Kabiru Bala ( Zamfara), Queen Worlu (Edo), Abibat Sonaike (Ogun), Michael Femi Abikoye (Kwara) and Musa Saban Mamman (Yobe).