On the heels of what many – including the country’s minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama – have described as a successful outing at the just concluded 72nd UNGA, the Federal Executive Council has just announced a decision to withdraw the nation from 90 out of the 310 international organisations she’s currently subscribed to.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun who made the announcement while speaking with reporters after the weekly council meet explained that the heart of it was to save the country from international embarrassment. We’d have loved to have corrected that to read “further international embarrassment” but we can’t be seen to be putting words in a minister’s mouth.
According to her, the cost of maintaining our commitments to the 310 international currently stands at 70 million naira.
That’s a whole lot of money for a country whose exploding population slides further down the poverty line with every new statistic. There’s also the unresolved issue of whether the 2017 budget cam be completely fulfilled in the face of our economic dilemma and the resolve of the Buhari-administration to focus of infrastructural devopments and other such capital expenditure.
Mrs Adeosun admitted that Nigeria has been struggling to keep up with the the financial obligations of remaining a member of these organisations and this naturally is deepening the dent to “our image abroad”.
“Basically, Nigeria is member of 310 international organisations and a committee was set up to review the rationale for our continued membership of such a large number of organisations particularly in the light of the fact that in many cases we are not actually paying financial obligations and subscription which is causing some embarrassment to Nigeria and our image abroad.”
The committee has recommended that Nigeria retains membership of 220 of those organisations and will now have to look the arrears of subscription fees owed to a number of organisations. She said that the committee has been directed to look further into their recommendations to ensure a reconciliation of the conflicting figures in these financial obligations. The committee is also required to come up with a payment plan as regards the figures.