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Nigeria Considers Closing Embassies Amid Budget Slump


FILE - Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari gives an interview to Agence France-presse during the 25th African Summit on June 14, 2015 in Johannesburg.

FILE - Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari gives an interview to Agence France-presse during the 25th African Summit on June 14, 2015 in Johannesburg.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is considering closing some embassies abroad, his office said on Tuesday, as public finances have been hit hard by a slump in vital oil revenues.

A committee will review all Nigerian embassies to determine those that are essential, the presidency said in a statement.

It quoted Buhari as telling foreign ministry officials there was no point keeping embassies "all over the world with dilapidated facilities and demoralized staff."

"Let's keep only what we can manage. We can't afford much for now. There's no point in pretending," Buhari said.

With oil accounting for more than 90 percent of Nigeria's foreign exchange earnings and about 70 percent of government revenues, the fall in crude prices and output has hurt finances and the naira currency, with foreign investors pulling out of its stock and bond markets.

The weakening currency has fuelled inflation and driven up the cost of food and other essential imports.

Buhari took office in May after being elected on promises to fight the endemic corruption and mismanagement of public funds that he believes has led to $150 billion being stolen from state coffers over the past decade.

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