Reps investigate alleged malpractices in diplomatic posting by Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs has launched investigations into alleged malpractices in diplomatic posting by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and alleged Passport rackeering in issuance of Nigerian passports by the Nigeria Immigration Service.

Announcing the resolution at a public hearing, the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, lamented the series of complaints against the Foreign Affairs Ministry by diplomats and the general public on the rot in diplomatic posting and other issues.

Mr Gbajabiamila, said the Foreign Ministry, its departments and agencies had been involved in the alleged malpractices adding that the House had resolved to investigate the matter owing to the number of petitions it received from the diplomats and the general public on it.

The Speaker noted that the Foreign Ministry is responsible for framing the country’s foreign policy and the way the world see the nation, stressing that it is a tragedy if what it portrays is opposite of its policy decision.

The Chairman House Committee on Foreign Affairs Mr Buba Yakub said the probe is in tandem with President Muhammadu Buhari’s zero tolerance for corrupt practices by public office holders.

He maintained that the plan was to beam searchlight on consular services offered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigeria Immigration Service to citizens of Nigeria at home and in diaspora.

The Commitee Chairman also urged the leadership of foreign Affairs ministry, to ensure postings of staff are done in accordance with the laid down principles noting that the ministry is the mirrow through which citizens see what happens around the world.

The Controller-General, Nigeria Immigration Service Alh Mohammed Babandede, informed the committee that the new visa policy has allowed citizens to have dual citizenship and had contributed to the ease of doing business in the country.

He confirmed that the agency had removed visa processing from embassies and high commission and introduced temporary passport for Nigerians abroad to enhance their movements.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Geoffrey Onyeama said Nigerians in diaspora would be provided with a 24 hours call centre where they can call and feel free to discuss any issue of concern.

IBRAHIM SHEHU

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