The Senate on Wednesday, July 20, resolved to begin consideration and screening of 47 ambassadorial nominees sent by President Muhammadu Buhari for approval. This followed the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Affairs following 37 petitions alleging lopsidedness in the appointment among others.
The Nigerian Senate at plenary President Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday, June 9, released the list of Ambassadorial nominees and sent same to the Senate. Presenting the report, the Chairman of the committee on Foreign and Local Debts, Senator Shehu Sani, said Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Lawal Babachir, informed the committee that affected states did not meet the requirements. He said that most senior officers from the states affected either did not meet the required minimum of 30 months to their retirement or fell short of other criteria.
He said that from the committee’s investigation due process was followed in appointing the nominees. However, the lawmaker said the SGF gave the assurance that President Buhari would address the seeming lopsidedness with the appointment of non-career ambassadors.
The committee recommended that the Senate proceeded with the screening while urging the Federal Government to quickly submit the list of non-career ambassadors. On Thursday, June 9, President Muhammadu Buhari released the list of Ambassadorial nominees which was contained in a letter sent to Saraki. This was disclosed after Saraki read out the list of the 47 ambassadors on the floor of the Senate.
According to the letter, the nominees are career diplomats who will oversee Nigeria’s mission outside the country.
Meanwhile, the Senate also urged the federal government to sustain the tradition of submitting the list of non-career ambassadors alongside that of career ambassadors. The Senate thereafter adopted the recommendations of the committee through a voice vote and resolved to commence screening of nominees as soon as possible.