NIGERIA is to have two new consulates in Benin Republic, President Muhammadu Buhari has assured.
He made the promise on Saturday night during a meeting with Nigerians residing in Benin Republic.
According to the President, provisions will be made for the establishment of the consulates in next year’s budget if it passe through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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 the 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.”
Stressing that it was customary of him to meet the representatives of Nigerian community wherever he goes and answer their questions, he said that he has always told Nigerians to respect their host’s culture and laws.
He noted that there were a number of problems in South Africa which did not portray Nigerians in good light.
“Some of them are in prison for committing a number of crimes. But for you who are so close home, you should do your best in being good ambassadors of the country,” he said.
On whether there was any cooperation with Benin Republic towards fighting Boko Harm, he said: “Yes, they have identified with the countries of Lake Chad Commission which comprises of Cameron, Chad and Nigeria. He (Boni Yayi ) made an undertaking of providing a number of troops to join the Task Force troops of the Chad Basin Commission countries to fight the Boko Haram.
“I will not mention the number of troops because it is a security issue. As you know, Nigeria is expected to make a bigger contribution. By yesterday (Friday), we are supposed to take the troops off the ground. So, Benin Republican through the President is participating in fighting Boko Harm.”
Answering the question on what the Federal Government was doing to facilitate the return of those who may so wish, the President said: “I believe a lot of you are doing well and are better off here. So, the question of facilitating your coming home does not arise.
“We don’t want you to come back home and be unemployed. Don’t come and add to our problems. If you have something doing here please continue doing it.”
Towards opening a campus of the National Open University (NOUN) in Benin Republic, he urged them to pass a formal letter through the ambassador who will write the ministry of education.
“And I think the possibility of expanding the facility may be examined,” he stated
On how the government will assist to improve their businesses, he said: “I think what the government can do is through your ambassador. If the embassy sends a report from your representatives, I believe the ministry of commerce and industry will examine it and whichever suggestion they raise, the Federal Government will look at them.
“The Federal Government here in Nigeria will ensure that people don’t just earn their salaries but that they do exactly what they are paid for,” he said.