Nigeria To Withdraw From 90 International Organizations Over Increasing Subscriptions Which Stands At $120 Million
Nigerian Government is set to exit membership of no fewer than 90 international organizations as a result of increasing subscriptions, which stands at over $120 millon.
This is contained in the recommendations made by an inter-ministerial committee set up to look into the status of Nigeria’s membership of international organizations and associated financial obligations.
Briefing State House correspondents after the weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said Nigeria is a member of 310 international organizations.
According to her, the committee was charged to review the rationale of Nigeria’s continued membership of such a large number of international organizations, particularly in the light of the fact that in many cases we are not actually paying our financial obligations and subscriptions which is causing some embarrassment to Nigeria and our image abroad.
She said, “In particular, it was discussed that there are some commitments made to international organizations made by former presidents which were not cash backed. So when our delegations turn up at those organizations we become very embarrassed. So that was what drove the committee.
“The committee made some recommendations. That out of the 310 organizations, 220 organizations should be retained and the rest we should withdraw membership from.
“But council directed that more work needed to be done, particularly there was a dispute as to the figure of how much is owed. The committee had a figure of about $120 million but we are clear from ministry of Finance and other ministries that 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.
“And also circulars needed to be issued on who can commit Nigeria because it was discovered it would be a director or an ambassador who attended the meeting who committed subscription on behalf of Nigeria. Of course then the international organization then begins to chase us for its money.
“We need to tighten up the procedures of committing Nigeria to any form of subscription or donations to international organizations.
“The committee are due to come back in the next two weeks with the final figures. And then ministers were then asked to look at the recommendations of those international organizations which we want to withdraw from and ensure that they are in support of those decisions before we will finalize the work on this issue.
“So basically, this is just prudence and value for money. Nigeria doesn’t need to be a member of every single organizations 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 is $70 million per annum and there are lots and lots of arrears,” Adeosun said.