By Fiona Freddy

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has directed all newly ambassador-designates to send back home all the foreign officers that had finished their tenure but refused to return home.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Olukunle Bamgbose gave the order on Thursday, September 21, 2017, at the presentation of letters of credence to some ambassador-designates in Abuja.

The Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Hajiya Khadijat Abba- Ibrahim presented letters of credence to some non-career ambassadors deployed to various countries.

Bamgbose, who said that the ministry had already given instruction to the affected officers to resume but they still delayed, urged the ambassadors to give bite to the directive.

The permanent secretary advised the envoys to be prudent in their spending, urging them not allow the officers to pose an extra burden on them.

“You are likely to have officers who have been recalled but who are still at the mission. I would advise that in order to save your funds, it is better to send them back home.

“Otherwise they would stay there and still be paying rent and incurring other expenses.

“We have directed them to report, but I will advise that when you get there, you give bite to this instruction so that you can send them back home,” he said.

He said that there were capable officers that would assist the ambassadors in discharging their duties effectively and that would help them to succeed.

Bamgbose told them to see their appointment as a great honour and be ready to manage the resources at their disposal effectively.

He said that there may be one challenge or the other but that should not deter them from discharging their duties effectively.

“The mission you are going to may not be robust, in terms of finance, there is no much in it.

“However, there is dignity and honour in it. The title of the ambassador is something you carry for life and you should see it as a great honour.

“You have to be very prudent and prioritize on what you are to do because there may not be sufficient fund to do all.

“Of course, you have capable officials at the mission that will assist you,” he said.