The federal government has decided to stop Nigeria’s membership of 90 international organisations.
This is as a result of a backlog of $120 million in membership dues and other financial commitments.
The decision was reached at the federal executive council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.
Addressing reporters at the end of the weekly meeting, Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, said the council agreed that henceforth, the country would only belong to international organisations considered to be necessary.
“Basically, Nigeria is a member of 310 international organisations and a committee was set up to review the rationale of our continued membership of such a large number of our organisations, particularly in the light of the fact that in many cases we are not actually paying our financial obligations and subscriptions which is causing some embarrassment to Nigeria and our image abroad,” she said.
“In particular, it was discussed that there are some commitments made to international organisations made by former presidents which were not cash backed. So, when our delegations turn up at those organisations, we become very embarrassed. So that was what drove the committee.
“The committee made some recommendations: That out of the 310 organisations, 220 organisations should be retained and the rest we should withdraw membership from.
“But council directed that more work needed to be done, particularly there was a dispute as to the figure of how much is owed. The committee had a figure of about $ 120 million but we are clear from ministry of finance and other ministries that is far more than that. Our subscriptions are in arrears in a number of major organisations.
“So, the directive of the council was that we should go and reconcile those figures and come back to council and have a payment plan for those figures to avoid Nigeria being embarrassed internationally. And also circulars needed to be issued on who can commit Nigeria because it was discovered it would be a director or an ambassador who attended the meeting who committed subscription on behalf of Nigeria. Of course, then the international organisation then begins to chase us for its money.”
Some of the international organisations Nigeria belongs to are African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, African Development Bank(ADB), African Union (AU), Commonwealth of Nations, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Group of 15, G-19, Group of 24 and Group of 77.
Others are International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Chamber of Commerce, (ICC), International Civil Aviation Organization, (ICAO), International Criminal Court (ICC), International Development Association (IDA), International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), International Labor Organization (ILO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO), International Olympic Committee, (IOC), International Organization for Standardization (IOS), International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (IRCRCM), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Interpol, Non-Aligned Movement, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Permanent Court of Arbitration, United Nations Organization (HNO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM), United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITR) and United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNIAMK).