We’re looking into it –FG
From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Nigerian diplomates in Cuba are stranded, over inability of the Federal Government to remit their allowances.
A source told Daily Sun that the foreign service officers have been reduced to beggars in Cuba and that they haven’t been paid for over nine months.
“They don’t have access to medical facilities. If their children are sick, they will die. They have no access to educational facility and can’t even pay their rent. Feeding is becoming a problem. There is no access to water, electricity, medical facility; children withdrawn from schools,” the source added.
Giving insight into the genesis of the diplomats’ plight, the source said it started as a result of the inability of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to remit their allowances, over the America-Cuba imbroglio.
“They resorted to our mission in Berlin, Germany, as alternative to remit their allowance. Unfortunately, Berlin ran into rent problem and money paid into their account in Berlin was remitted to the owner of a property rented by the Nigerian Mission, by a bank, in which the account is domiciled since the owner of the property had been complaining to the bank. The money was actually meant for our diplomats in Cuba,” the source said.
When contacted, at exactly 2:36pm, yesterday, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tope Adeleye Elias-Fatile, told Daily Sun that the Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Olukunle Bamgbose, has given directives that the issue be addressed.
“The permanent secretary has directed the relevant department to handle the issue urgently. And, as we speak, I think the matter has been addressed or is being addressed. Don’t forget something that Cuba is a locked country. So, it is not that they have not sent in money. They have sent money, but for it to enter into that country has been an issue.
“You know the problem between Cuba and some countries; the embargo issue. That was what actually affected it. They sent in money sometime, but, I can tell you that the money got to some point and was difficult to ßaccess and they are trying to get other means of arranging. That is just the bottom line,” Elias-Fatile said. (The Sun)