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Senate to screen ambassadorial nominees

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The Senate,  yesterday, said it would proceed with the screening and confirmation of the 47 ambassadorial nominees sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari last month.

It also urged the President to urgently submit the list of non-career ambassadors to balance the nomination.

The Senate, however, agreed with the decision of President Buhari not to include names from Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Ondo and Plateau states, since they did not meet the required criteria for selecting career ambassadors.

The resolution to proceed with the screening of the ambassadorial nomination followed the adoption of the report of the foreign affairs committee which investigated allegations of lopsidedness  in the nomination.

Presenting the report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs on the investigative hearing on alleged irregularities and lopsidedness of the list of 47 career ambassadorial nominees, Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Shehu Sani, All Progressives Congress, APC, Kaduna Central, said:  “The committee, having considered all the petitions and concerns on the 47 ambassadorial nominees under consideration by the Senate, concludes that the nominees were meticulously selected in line with due diligence.

“They should, therefore, be considered for screening and confirmation by the Senate.  
The 47 career ambassadorial nominees were carefully selected on the basis of federal character, seniority, gender consideration, specialist relevance, a minimum of 30 months period of service before retirement and competence, except for a few that have between 18 and 29 months remaining periods of service.

“Officers from Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Ondo, Plateau and other states not featured on the list did not meet the criteria approved for selection.

The executive is working on the list of non-career ambassadorial nominees, which will make up for the states that were not represented on the current list.

The list will accordingly balance the perceived lopsidedness. ‘’The minister and the SGF expressed strong will that Mr. President will ensure that each state of the federation is represented, in line with the principles of federal character.

“The complexities in the selection of the non-career ambassadors whose records are not readily available for scrutiny, contributed to the submission of only the list of career ambassadorial nominees to the Senate, instead of a combined list.”

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