The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb Danjuma Sheni, has called on members of the National Assembly to increase budgetary allocation for the Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa (DTCA) in order to enable it performs its duty optimally.
Sheni, who made the remark in an interview shortly after his familiarisation visit to DTCA in Abuja, also assured that the ministry would assist in facilitating various training programmes for the agency’s staff.
The permanent secretary, who also congratulated the agency for a well-defined structure, urged the management to think outside the box in promoting activities of the agency.
“This is an organisation very dear to my heart because of the mandate of capacity enhancement and creation of an enabling environment for the deployment of such capacity. These are very difficult times and I am going to challenge the management to think outside the box in promoting activities of the agency,” he said.
Earlier, the acting Director-General of the DTCA, Mr Shuaibu Suleiman, listed some of the agency’s challenges as paucity of funds, lack of utility vehicles and inability to renew its housing insurance, among others.
“Of course, we mentioned the few of our challenges like the issue of funding. You know it is a big issue; it is not just the Directorate alone, but of course, it is a national issue because of the dwindling resources. But of course, we will be grateful if the ministry is able to intervene on our behalf. For instance, we need to travel across Africa. This year, that provision has not been made in the budget. You cannot be Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa and you sit on your table; you don’t network.
“Secondly still on the issue of funding, we have mentioned the issue of insurance. If you don’t insure your vehicles, your assets, God forbid, if anything happens, what do you do? Other areas mentioned is the issue of capacity building for staff. Most of our staff has not gone to the Foreign Service Academy; they need to do that and this is one area that we have been pleading with the ministry to facilitate. But this time around, we are lucky the academy is back to Abuja and the ministry is very willing to help us attend the academy and build capacity,” the DG said.
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
-Ex VP Atiku Abubakar on Restructuring.
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