Nigeria has not paid its annual contribution to the United Nations (UN).
As of 10 October 2019, 131 Member States have paid their regular budget assessments in full and Nigeria is not on the list the UN tagged “Honour Roll”.
The UN has 193 Member Countries, thus, Africa’s biggest nation is among the 64 yet to pay.
Interestingly, a Nigerian, Muhammad-Bande, is the current President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
Bande took over from Ms Maria Espinosa – the first woman to hold the office – and will lead the 74th Session of the Assembly in the next one year.
On September 23, one week after Bande assumed office, President Muhammadu Buhari paid a courtesy call on him in New York.
However, it is undetermined if the UNGA head reminded the president the country was owing the body he leads.
“I sincerely congratulate you. Your election was well received by the whole world. It was a unanimous support, and the global community received you well. That support puts heavy weight on you, and I wish you well,” Buhari told Bande.
DAILY POST is yet to get a response to an email sent to the Nigerian mission to the UN.
Last week, the UN alerted that it faces a severe shortage of cash and called on more governments to pay their annual dues.
“Our work and our reforms are at risk”, the UN chief António Guterres told Member States.
The Secretary-General said he had written to Member States “about the worst cash crisis facing the United Nations in nearly a decade”.
“The Organization runs the risk of depleting its liquidity reserves by the end of the month and defaulting on payments to staff and vendors.”
And as at October 8th, Member States have paid $1.99 billion towards the regular budget assessment for 2019, leaving an outstanding amount of around $1.3 billion for the year.
UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told correspondents in New York that others needed to pay “urgently and in full. This is the only way to avoid a default that could risk disrupting operations globally.
“The Secretary-General further asked governments to address the underlying reasons for the crisis and agree on measures to put the United Nations on a sound financial footing.
“To date, we have averted major disruptions to operations. But these measures are no longer enough.
“The Secretariat could face a default on salaries and payments for goods and services by the end of November unless more Member States pay their budget dues in full.
“The Secretary-General noted that this is a recurrent problem that severely hampers the Secretariat’s ability to fulfil its obligations to the people we serve.
“We are now driven to prioritize our work on the basis of the availability of cash, thus undermining the implementation of mandates decided by inter-governmental bodies”.