The Ministry of Foreign affairs in Nigeria has warned heads of foreign missions in Nigeria against violation of provisions of the Vienna Convention on channels of communication in countries of mission.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ambassador Olusola Enikanolaiye, said some foreign diplomats have formed the culture of breaking the rules, laws and channels of communication, without recourse to the Foreign Affairs Ministry which is the sole route of communication for foreign missions.
He gave the warning on Friday at the first meeting between him and the members of the diplomatic corps in Nigeria, aimed at presenting Federal Government’s tripartite focus of security, the economy and anti-corruption.
Ambassador Enikanolaiye termed the breach of communication channel ‘unorthodox’.
“Some missions are in the habit of going above the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in seeking audiences and engagements with government at even higher levels.
“I need not stress that this is not what we know as diplomat. It is clearly a violation of the relevant provisions of the Vienna Convention.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains the channel of communication between diplomatic community and host governments,” the Permanent Secretary told the diplomats.
Ambassador Enikanolaiye also condemned some baseless travel advisory by diplomats, which he said undermined the gains and efforts of the Federal Government, in the security situation in Nigeria.
“While I appreciate the domestic requirement for travel advisories in many of our countries, we urge that such advisories be based on facts rather than an attempt to sectionalise and make it look as if the entire country, from the north to the south, to the east to south-west, is no longer a place to leave in,” he stressed.
He pointed out that some of the advises paint an exaggerated picture of the security situation in Nigeria.
Also of concern to some of the diplomats was the recent ban on some items which they said limited trade between their countries and Nigeria.
But the Permanent Secretary said the decision to restrict the importation of some items were made by the government to protect and spur local manufacturing.