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Nigerian Embassy Owing United Kingdom Government £7.1m

Valentine Chinyem

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The Nigerian High Commission in the United Kingdom has been revealed to owe £7.1m in charges for the year 2018.

In a statement titled ‘Debts owed by Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations in the United Kingdom 2018’ released on Tuesday by Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Dominic Raab, the Nigerian High Commission was discovered to be leading the line in many aspects of debt in related charges to the British authorities.

The statement revealed that the US accumulated a total of 102,255 unpaid congestion charges, which add up to £12.44m, adding that the Embassy of Japan had a total of 69,690 unpaid congestion charges, which add up to £8,510,650, while the Nigeria High Commission follows with a total of 58,102 unpaid congestion charges, which add up to £7,063,965 in lost revenue for Transport for London.

The Commonwealth Office further stated that aside from the unpaid congestion charges, the Nigeria High Commission had £47,165 in outstanding parking fines in the same 2018, adding that the commission also has £36,975 of unpaid National Non-Domestic Rates, which is six per cent of the total value of offices of diplomatic missions, which they are obliged to pay.

These put the total unpaid debt of the Nigeria High Commission at £7,148,105 for the year 2018.

According to Raab, the Commonwealth Office had held several meetings with the debtors while encouraging them to defray their debts.

He said, “The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has held meetings with missions which have substantial outstanding parking fine debts.

“In addition, in 2019 Protocol Directorate wrote to diplomatic missions and international organisations with debts giving them the opportunity to either pay outstanding debts or appeal against specific fines if they considered that they had been recorded incorrectly.”