President Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration was seriously looking for ways of cutting down the cost of governance by reducing the number of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
The president, who stated this at the weekend when he met with the Nigerian community in Benin Republic, assured, however, that in cutting down the number of MDas, he would not take the interest of Nigerians, including those living in Diaspora, for granted.
He also assured Nigerians living in Diaspora that his administration would consider their requests of setting up of consular offices where necessary to enable the embassies coordinate and respond to their urgent needs in an expeditious manner.
President Buhari, who was in Benin Republic on a one-day visit and to attend the country’s 55th independence anniversary, met with Nigerians living in the country immediately after he was hosted to a launch by the country’s president, Boni Yayi.
Responding to requests made by the Nigerian community in Benin Republic through the Nigerian Ambassador, Dr. Lawrence Obisakin, he assured that the government would next year look at the possibility of creating more consular offices in Benin Republic.
Responding to requests for two more consulates in Benin Republic to complement the Nigerian embassy, Buhari noted that even though the federal government was trying to whittle down the number of MDAs, he would include their request in next year’s budget.
He said, “I think I will direct your ambassador to make the request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that by the time we are doing the next budget, it would be included.
“Although we are trying to cut down on the number of ministries, the morale of Nigerians in Diaspora must be considered. This is because we are so many. We are aggressive whether in business or other facets of life. So, we as a government will do everything possible to look after Nigerians wherever they are.”
The president also promised to look into the request made by the Nigerian community for the extension of the services of the National Open University (NOUN) in Benin.
He assured them that he would look into the matter even as he urged the Ambassador to liaise with the Ministry of Education for the modalities of extending the services to those in Diaspora.
Asked what the government is doing to facilitate their relocation home, Buhari told the Nigerian community to rather stay where they were and not risk coming back home only to be jobless.