The nation’s trade mission in Nigeria is to keep the same number of staff after it relocates from the capital, Abuja, to Lagos, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said on Tuesday.
Department of West Asia and African Affairs Deputy Director-General Grace Lo (羅靜如) confirmed that staffing levels would remain the same after the move, seemingly at odds with a request from the Nigerian government, which ordered the relocation.
Lo did not specify how many people work at the office, but a source said four people work there after office director Morgan Chao (趙家寶) left on March 31.
Chao was ordered to leave by the Nigerian government and is unlikely to return to his post in the new location, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Taiwan and Nigeria are still in talks over the name of the new office, the source said, adding that Taipei hopes it would be able to maintain the title “Republic of China” as part of it.
The Nigerian government in January ordered Taiwan to move its office from the capital, to change the name of the office to remove the title “Republic of China (Taiwan)” and to cut office staff, reportedly under pressure from China.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs later lauded the move, saying it showed the African country’s “staunch support” of Bejing’s “one China” principle.
Taipei responded by twice summoning the acting director of the Nigeria Trade Office in Taiwan to protest the African country’s moves against Taiwan’s interests, the ministry said.
After the relocation, which is expected to be completed by the middle of this month, the ministry would ask the Taipei-based Nigeria Trade Office in Taiwan to move to another location based on the principles of equality and dignity, Lo said.