By Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, resolved to probe the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over alleged financial malpractices through defiance if recall orders, by some officials of the ministry.
Consequently, the House mandated its Committee on Foreign Affairs to undertake the investigation and report back within four weeks, for further legislative actions.
This followed the adoption of a motion by the minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu, calling for investigation into alleged “malpractices associated with diplomatic posting and deliberate draining of resources in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “
Elumelu, in his lead debate, informed the House that there are allegations that some diplomats, who were recalled to the ministry from their previous postings are still receiving their full entitlements.
The lawmaker noted that this malpractice is allegedly headed by some officials in the Human Resources department of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
According to him, “there are serious allegations of massive fleecing to the tune of millions of dollars by some erring officials of the ministry through deliberate defiance of recall orders.
“It i’s been alleged that these officials one year after their recall to headquarters are still receiving full entitlements such as accommodation allowance, house maintenance, transport allowance,medical and utility bills even though they have been officially posted back to Nigeria.”
Elumelu expressed concerns that “these alleged corrupt practices is said to be aided by staff of the human resources department of the ministry who collects sums of money from these erring officials and intentionally frustrates efforts of posted colleagues to replace those posted back to headquarters by refusing to perfect the needed documentation that will enable them resume duty at the various foreign missions.”
He added that while these officials are allegey “busy fleecing the ministry of millions of dollars monthly, the ministry is said to have no functional clinic, no generators nor functional air conditioning system and no internet access, making the environment unconducive for staff to perform at optimal level.”