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Foreign Affairs Ministry Spends N1.6bn on ICT Project

By on June 26, 2013

The Ministry of  Foreign Affairs has spent N1.6 billion on an ICT project to provide a secured and effective real-time multi-media communications for missions abroad and the headquarters, an official said.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Olugbenga Ashiru, made the fact known in Abuja on Monday at the 2013 Ministerial Platform.
Ashiru said 63 Nigerian missions had been connected with the headquarters in

Abuja under the Global Communication Network project, he said the remaining 35 missions would be covered as soon as the Federal Government  released more funds  for the project.

“I must confess that the project is working perfectly well.  It is a state of the art communications network, where from the headquarters, we can speak to four different missions at the same time,” Ashiru said.
He said the project had been very useful in passing instructions to Nigeria’s multilateral missions during elections into international organisations.

He said that Nigeria had in the last two years fielded 19 candidates and was able to secure 17 victories into different international organisations.
“This network played a key role in the way things were managed,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, the minister has ruled out suggestions of closing some diplomatic missions because of the cost of running them.

“Other countries in Africa are opening more missions, so, why should Nigeria close down its missions? It takes money to close down and reopen missions, what we have done in a prudent manner is that we are retaining the existing missions but we are shrinking down on their staff strength.

“We believe that we will achieve same purpose by reducing the staff strength.

“We have to maintain our presence in those countries because when we close a mission, we lose a friend, and Nigeria cannot afford losing a friend,” the minister said.



[Daily Times]