February 2, 2023

Wawa News Global (WNG)

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Scandal hits another Nigerian embassy   * Finance attache in €90,000 car deal scam  * FG’s intervention fund allegedly squandered  * Citizens demand  recall of ambassador over salary arrears of staff  * Embassy owing phone,  gas, electricity  bills * Has no functional  e-mail, website

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Scandal hits another Nigerian embassy  

* Finance attache in €90,000 car deal scam 

* FG’s intervention fund allegedly squandered 

* Citizens demand  recall of ambassador over salary arrears of staff 

* Embassy owing phone,  gas, electricity  bills

* Has no functional  e-mail, website 

By Steve Oko 

Barely two weeks after the story of alleged corruption in the Nigerian embassy in Kuwait was published on our platform, another can of worms has been opened in the Nigerian embassy in Spain. 

The Ambassador, Susan Aderonke Folarin, and the Finance Attache, Umar Biu are in the eye of the scandal. 

 The 76-year old Ambassador is being accused of  misappropriation €600,000 Federal Government intervention fund, poor managerial skill and insensitivity over the welfare and plight of embassy staff.

On the other hand, there is a call for the investigation of the Finance Attache over  alleged €90,000 car deal scandal. 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama

A letter by a concerned citizen read in part : “Recently I got this information from a reliable source that at a time  when the local staff are not being paid the Finance Attache, Umar Biu shipped three brand new jeeps to Nigeria. So, my question is where did he get the money? Each of these jeeps is nothing less that 30,000 euros and workers are not being paid.

“I was able to talk to one of the senior officers who gave me fair idea of what has been going on and how the embassy got an intervention of about 600,000 euros from the federal government to offset most of the debts but funny enough they could not give account of how 600,000 euros  was spent. The debts are still unpaid.”

Nigerian embassy building in Spain

The  concerned Nigerian citizen in Spain, in a letter  to  Wawa News Global wanted the monumental corruption in the embassy exposed and investigated.

” Dear editor, I am a Nigerian and I live here in Spain, and I will like to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. 

“I have few things I need to share with you and I want it published by your media outreach to save lives and at the same time to expose some of the misconducts going on in Nigeria Embassy here in Madrid  Spain.

“I read your recent story about what happened in Nigeria Embassy in Kuwait,

and I must let you know that it is a replica of what is going on here right now and the staff here are just too afraid to voice out.

“From my findings from the workers I  talked to right in the embassy, I  found out that the Nigeria ambassador is a 76 year old by the name Susan Aderonke Folarin from Ogun state. 

“My question is why would Nigeria government appoint a 76 year old as an Ambassador? With that age she should be retired from service.”

According to the letter, the Nigerian embassy has no functional e-mail address nor website, and is heavily indebted. 

“The embassy has a huge debt all over – ranging from rents, school fees, phone bills, light bills, gas bills, community levy on some of the properties owned by the government. 

“As of today the embassy has no email to reach them. There is no website to check for information, yet  there is an Ambassador who doesn’t care.”

 

EFCC detectives
The letter which accused the Ambassador and the Finance Attache of abuse of federal government intervention funds called for their probe.
 
According to the letter,  the anti -corruption crusade will remain a huge joke if the Presidency fails to investigate glaring corruption and squandermania in most Nigerian embassies. 
 
It further lamented the near-slavery conditions of most of the embassy staff some of who die out of frustration while the Ambassadors and Finance Attaches or Head of Chancery live in opulence. 
 
The Nigerian Ambassador in Spain is also accused of making the country a laughing stock as banks now deny  the embassy staff mortgage privileges due to irregular payment of their salaries.
 
Meanwhile, investigation by Wawa News Global revealed that the last post on the official facebook page of the embassy was on June 5, 2018.
 
Attempt to speak with the embassy did not succeed as nobody picked the call placed on its official line. 
 
A pre-recorded message on the line said :”Welcome to Nigerian embassy, Madrid Spain. The embassy opens from  9:00 am to 4:00 pm from Monday to Friday “.
 
Below is a full text of the later. 

” Dear editor, I am a Nigerian and I live here in Spain, and I will like to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. 

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“I have few things I need to share with you and I want it published by your media outreach to save lives and at the same time to expose some of the misconducts going on in Nigeria Embassy here in Madrid  Spain.

“I read your recent story about what happened in Nigeria Embassy in Kuwait,

and I must let you know that it is a replica of what is going on here right now and the staff here are just too afraid to voice out.

“From my findings from the workers I  talked to right in the embassy, I  found out that the Nigeria ambassador is a 76 year old by the name Susan Aderonke Folarin from Ogun state. 

“My question is why would Nigeria government appoint a 76 year old as an Ambassador? With that age she should be retired from service.

The embassy has a huge debt all over – ranging from rents, school fees, phone bills, light bills, gas bills, community levy on some of the properties owned by the government. 

“As of today the embassy has no email to reach them. There is no website to check for information, yet  there is an Ambassador who doesn’t care.

“I had the opportunity of talking to some of my friends in and out of the embassy lately and the things I heard from most of them is nothing to write home about and and I feel the Federal Government and the public must hear this.

” I learnt that since the Ambassador came into office sometimes late 2017, life has been really tough on the local staff of the embassy.

” Just few months after she came into office her own driver died as a result from heart attack due to unpaid salary.

“I was told the workers were being owed three  months salary – from October to December 2017 but when the salary was finally paid the man was already gone from heart attack.

” His corpse was cremated because the family could not afford to give him a proper funeral. I  found out that the Ambassador did not even attend the cremation of  her own driver and up till now his entitlement has not been pain to his family since 2017 under this Ambassador and his Finance Attache, Umar Biu.

“In 2018 another staff was sacked unlawfully when he was on sick leave, and with the labour law of the land if you are sick and has all the medical report that state you are not fit to work, only your doctor can clear you to go back to work.

“From a reliable source , I gathered that he was not cleared before he was sacked, and the case is still in court till date and his entitlement has not also  been paid to him still under the 76 -year old Ambassador and her Finance Attache who has chosen to make life difficult for the poor workers and their families.

“As we all know that payment of wages outside Nigeria is designed to be a monthly thing, rents, mortgage, bills, fees, etc – all these depend on your salary but when salary becomes a three months thing how will the worker  survive? 

“That is what I was made to understand that since this Ambassador came in, salary has become a 3- months thing.  I heard  that since 2017 salary comes in every three  months, and I wonder why. Is it  that government doesn’t give them allocation or what are they doing with the money? 

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“The embassy has a huge debt all over – ranging from rents, school fees, phone bills, light bills, gas bills, community levy on some of the properties owned by the government. 

“As of today the embassy has no email to reach them. There is no website to check for information, yet  there is an Ambassador who doesn’t care. 

“Approved funds are not paid, salaries are not paid, bonus are not paid, overtime are not paid. I am sure auditors do come to audit the account of the mission and does it mean everything is fine?

 “I found out that even the official cars to the embassy don’t have insurance, fueling their vehicles is just something else.

“I  was within the embassy one day when I overheard a driver talking on phone that he does not have fuel in his car and the Finance Attache told him there was no money to buy fuel. What a shame to Nigeria!

“What they do with allocation is what I don’t know. 

“Recently I got this information from a reliable source that at a time  when the local staff are not being paid the Finance Attache, Umar Biu shipped three brand new jeeps to Nigeria. So, my question is where did he get the money? Each of these jeep is nothing less that 30,000 euros and workers are not being paid.

“I was able to talk to one of the senior officers who gave me fair idea of what has been going on and how the embassy got an intervention of about 600,000 euros from the federal government to offset most of the debts but funny enough they could not give account of how 600,000 euros  was spent. The debts are still unpaid.

” They claimed they paid social security but from my findings I found out that it was all lies. I got to know this when I found that the embassy gave a job to a Gambian as a driver, and this guy needed to get his working permit from the social security, but he was denied permit on the grounds that the embassy is owing social security.

” Social security is the life of every worker in civillised countries. That gives you access to medicals, loans, grants from the government unemployed benefit, but when you don’t pay social security then there is problem. These are some of the things these staff are facing right now. 

“Some of them have already lost their mortgage to the bank, lost their credit as no bank will give them loan because their salaries are not regular and they don’t know when the next salary will come.

“The staff cannot even voice out because of the threat of being sacked. I gathered that from one of their meetings with the Ambassador she  said  any  staff not comfortable with the situation should  resign because she could only pay salary when there was money. 

“Up till now she is still owing the workers three months bonus from December 2017, June and December 2018. Under the Labour  law of the country, bonus is being paid twice, June as leave allowance and December as Christmas bonus. She has refused to pay them and all of these have been covered under the same intervention. 

“So where has all the money gone ? She and her Finance Attache need to be probed.

“I gathered this from a source recently that she had a meeting with some of the officials of the Nigeria associations here in Spain where she said she wanted to have a party to celebrate the re-election of the President. 

” One of the officials said  if she had the money to throw a party why not use the money to pay the staff, and I was told the staff were paid after few days probably for the fear of unknown. That shows they have been mismanaging the funds.

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“We are all Nigerians and we cannot just fold our hands seeing things going this way. If this Ambassador who they say cannot even give ordinary water to the workers who work in her house.  

“Please as Nigerians we just want this to get to the federal government and recall this woman from here and probe her and her Finance Attache.

“If the fight against corruption must be fought properply it must get to cases like these too, that is why I have to commend you on the kuwait story. 

“These staff are going through difficult times in the hands of this old woman. These are family men and women with children and families who depend on then. 

 “The situation in Kuwait is not different from what is going on in Spain right now and this is really common among these political ambassadors. They feel they are mini gods and they cannot be touched. We still have many of them here and there.

“They ask for intervention funds  from the federal government and the money ends up in their various accounts while they leave  those who do the job to suffer.

“Nigeria must stop putting a round peg in a square hole. We still have young and brilliant brains out there not a 76- year old or 82 -year old who has nothing to offer. It is a mockery to  us as a nation. 

“The Nigerian Ambassador to Washington is 83 -year old. He is older than the President himself, and I am sure they passed through the screening committee in the senate. Does that mean we don’t have young people in the country who can do the job?

“These staff need a voice and they need to be rescued from these unpatriotic corrupt officers who just derive pleasure in making people to cry .

“Therefore, I am using this medium to call and appeal to Mr president, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the senate members to be very careful when picking those who you want to put into an office. 

” I know this is not just happening in Spain alone. The  same is happening in other places too. 

“Spain has gotten ambassadors in the past and there has never been a complaint like this before. Previous ones like Ambassador Obed Wadzani, Bianca Ojuckwu, etc  touched many lives here but from in and out of the embassy, Susan Aderonke Folarin is the worst Ambassador so far in the history of Nigeria embassy in Spain.

 “People want her  taken away from here. This is a woman who just insults an adult like she is talking to a child.

“I am looking forward to seeing this in your publication as soon as possible because this will really put smile on the faces of these people and I hope the federal government will come to their rescue.

“This will go out to all other ambassadors and all other government officials and they should know that they are meant to serve the masses and not to turn their workers into slaves. 

“I truly commend the staff of the embassy because they have been patient and not the violent type. However, their quietness does not mean they are fools.

“Thank you for this opportunity given to me to air my views and  to give voice to the voiceless. I look forward to when the news will hit the air. Thank you once again.”

Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email stevemanofgod2000@yahoo.com; wawanewsglobal@gmail.com Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.

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