By Funmi Komolafe & Emma Ujah
Officials of Nigerian embassies are being owedÂ at least three month salaries, according to anÂ investigation, by Sunday Vanguard.
It was gathered that the delay in salary payment has been a common practice but the situation may have been compounded by the absence of President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua from his duty post.
It was learnt that even before the President took ill, payment of salaries to embassy officials had always been late but with hisÂ absence, no salary has been paid as paymentÂ in foreign currency requires presidential approval.
An officer told Sunday Vanguard that his family had been given a quit notice in his rented apartment and he has not been able to meet his other commitments including his car insurance.
â€œ At this time, with the cold winter in Europe, how does the government want us to cope.Â We are unable to pay our childrenâ€™s school fees and the children are usually booked for boarding public transport without paying their faresâ€, he said.
The officer said, â€œ please help us appeal to the government to save us and our families from povertyâ€.
The diplomat said, a senior officer who left for Nigeria to work on the release of funds has been here since December and is unable to get any money released for the payment of staff salaries and other allowances from the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of finance.
Diplomats serving outside their country are not allowed to engage in any other form of work, hence they depend on salaries or allowances from the ministry of foreign affairs.