Nigeria: Nigeria to withdraw from 90 international organisations

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – Nigeria is set to withdraw from 90 international organisations out of the 310 it has membership, the Federal Executive Council said Wednesday.

The Council cited the accumulated backlog of US$120 million in membership dues and other financial commitments, which cost the nation about $70 million annually, as reason for the withdrawal.

The decision to retain Nigeria’s membership of only 220 organisations was taken during the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in Abuja on Wednesday, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, the first since he returned from the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said the cabinet considered the report of an inter-ministerial committee which made the recommendations.

The minister did not name the particular organisations Nigeria will be withdrawing from but she disclosed that the committee was given two weeks within which to review and vet the recommendations before a final decision is taken by the FEC.

Adeosun explained that the decision to quit the global bodies was borne out of the huge debts Nigeria was accumulating by membership of some, many of them without commensurate benefits or relevance.

Based on this, the FEC also resolved to tighten procedures for accepting membership of such bodies or making financial pledges and commitments by government officials and envoys.

According to the minister, Nigeria is a member of 310 international organizations but, in many cases was not actually paying its financial obligations and subscriptions, which caused embarrassment to the country and its image abroad.

Adeosun said that there was a dispute as to the figure of how much was owed. "The committee had a figure of about US$120 million but we are clear from Ministry of Finance and other ministries that it is far more than that. Our subscriptions are in arrears in a number of major organizations.

"So the directive of the Council was that we should go and reconcile those figures and come back to Council and have a payment plan for those figures to avoid Nigeria being embarrassed internationally," he said.

Adeosun explained that  ministers were asked to look at the recommendations of international organizations from which Nigeria wants to withdraw.

"Basically, this is just prudence and value for money. Nigeria doesn't need to be a member of every single organisation but those we are members of, we have made a decision as FEC that we must prioritize and pay our obligations because that is part of the nation's image.

"That is what gives Nigeria as a country the right to sit up very straight at international meetings. When you haven't paid up your subscriptions, you can't necessarily do so. The subscriptions average US$70 million per annum and there are lots and lots of arrears," he said.
-0- PANA MON/AR  27Sept2017

27 september 2017 18:09:37

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