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Reps to uplift NTAC office to project Nigeria’s image

Mr Oluwole Oke, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, on Wednesday, assured the Nigerian Technical Aid Corps (NTAC) of uplifting its office to project the country’s image positively.

The chairman said this when he led members of the committee on an oversight visit to the Director-General of NTAC, Dr Yusuf Yakub, in Abuja.

He said the visit followed the directive by the Speaker of the House of Representatives to help in addressing the challenges facing the agency and also to get the proper funding required to run the office.

“We are here today at NTAC to pay the D-G a courtesy visit and being our member and brother, to also congratulate him, and importantly, to have on the spot assessment of the infrastructure, personnel and the environment.

“Also the tools in which to work with so that we can make an informed decision when it comes to budget preparation, which judging from what we have seen, the truth is that this office is unfit for NTAC.

“This agency is saddled with the responsibility to promote the country, outside the shores of Nigeria, it markets the country.

“The organisations such as the African Development Bank , United Nations Security Council, African Union, ECOWAS amongst others, for example, you cannot bring a foreign country to come and have a meeting in this premise.

“If you conduct a structural test of this building, I can tell you that it will not meet the required standard; this office is inappropriate, we have to engage the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

“We will find out if there are offices confiscated lawfully by ICPC or EFCC to see how this agency can be re-awaken in a proper office, I am telling you that this office is not habitable.

“Except if Mr President directs the Ministry of Budget and National Planning to give the agency money to rehabilitate this building or get a land and build an edifice that befits this agency.”

The reps chairman, who described President Bola Tinubu as the father of the country, said he would not want to see his children in pains and allow such to be so.

“The president and the father of the nation, and no father watch his son or daughter crying without looking after the child.

“Also, the president, being the chief marketer of this country, he has to pay due attention to his children more; he has just been re-elected as the President of ECOWAS for another one year.

“So, he has to look at the foreign affairs ministry and attend to its needs  in areas of foreign mission, personel’s welfare and the various subscriptions that we have to pay,’’ he said.

Responding, the D-G of NTAC lauded the initiative of the house under the speaker’s leadership to visit the agency for an oversight exercise to give the corps a befitting office or renovation.

“This is a great moment because the foreign affairs committee in the National Assembly is a ‘Grade A’ committee that is responsible to overseeing the ministry of foreign affairs operation.

“Its agency which receives them today is like a lost child whose parent paid him a visit and discovered him in agony. Today we will sleep well since our parents have come to see us,’’ he said.

Yakub, during the meeting, mentioned some of the challenges of the corps which needed an urgent attention in order to operate effectively.

Also, the high point of the visit was the inspection of the entire building and documentation by the house committee members to report back to the speaker.(NAN

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