Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Mr. Ademola Seriki has stated that his impetus for reform in the embassy has pushed certain stakeholders to fight back through media coercion.
Speaking to The Union Nigeria, Sunday, the Ambassador disclosed that the embassy has 25 staff against the benchmark of 15 as approved by the federal government.
Ademola said the bloated workforce has critically affected the budget of the embassy.
He said, “Every diplomat before me employed an additional staff for the embassy before exiting. Most times, the persons are their relatives or loyalists. Our staffing ceiling is supposed to be 15 but as we speak, our local staffers are 25.
“I am restructuring hence these petitions and rumours. There is no way you can do reforms without oppositions.”
Ambassador Ademola’s response is following media reports alleging that he was arrested by Spanish police for driving an unauthorized vehicle.
According to the report, a source in the Nigerian Foreign Affairs Ministry alleged that the Ambassador breached diplomatic protocols.
The Union Nigeria understands that “Ademola Seriki was said to have allegedly arrogantly decided not to ride his official Representative Car assigned to him from the Nigerian Embassy.
“He instead opted to import his personal car from Lagos to Madrid at huge cost.
“He flagrantly removed one of the Spanish number plates for the Nigerian Embassy registered vehicle and put on his imported Range Rover without authorization from his host Ministry.
“He was stopped by the police who threatened to impound the vehicle as it has no proper documentation.
Nigerian Govt Allowed Me To Take My Car
The Ambassador, Ademola, in his response to the allegations stated that the official diplomatic vehicle was bad and covered in dust hence his resort to his private vehicle.
He said, “Did you make your own findings. Nigerian government allowed me to take my car to Spain. Nigeria doesn’t have a rep car. It is so sad especially for anybody who says it is against diplomatic protocol.
“My Range Rover number plate is 012, not 001 which is the official number plate against allegations that I removed number plates from the official vehicle and converted to mine. Do you think that is possible in Spain? That is not possible. Moreover, I did proper driving tests. I also have a European Union driver’s license.
“There are times I send my officers on missions and they take Uber. I met with the king of Spain last week. I went with my Range Rover. Do you expect me to have gone there with public transport?
“I should be commended for providing my own personal vehicle for official duties. I just authorized a vehicle to be bought and won’t be ready till June.
“I brought my car to give respect to my country. I am allowed to bring my car.” Ambassador Ademola stated.