£3,000 visa bond: FG summons British High Commissioner

// Headline | £3,000 visa bond: FG summons British High Commissioner
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
A diplomatic row  seems to be  brewing between Nigeria and the United Kingdom following a  proposed policy by the  British Government  requiring  Nigerian travellers to the UK to deposit £3,000 as bond in case they overstay  their visa limits.
 
On Monday,  the Federal Government  summoned the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Andrew Pocock, over the development  while the House of Representatives which flayed  the policy, argued that it could have negative impact on the relationship between  the two countries.
Nigeria, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Pakistan and India are  listed by the UK  as  countries whose citizens are to deposit the £3,000 under  the  proposed  policy that will take off in November.
 
A Home Office official said the six countries highlighted were those with “the most significant risk of abuse.”
About 2.2million people are granted visas to enter Britain every year.
 
Last year, 296,000 people from India were granted six-month visas, as were 101,000 from Nigeria; 53,000 from Pakistan; and 14,000 apiece from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
 
According to media reports, the Home Secretary Theresa May,  said the administration of British Prime Minister, David Cameron,  is serious about cutting immigration and abuses of the system.
 
The Sunday Times of  London had reported that  every visitor  aged 18 and above granted a  six-month visa would  forfeit the £3,000 if they overstayed in Britain after the expiration of their  visa .
 
Initially, the scheme will target hundreds of visitors, but the plan is to extend it to several thousands, according to the broadsheet’s front-page report.
 
 It was gathered that Pocock would  meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru,  on Tuesday (today) to explain  the policy.
 
A source close to the ministry, who confirmed the meeting,  said the government was seriously concerned about the implication of the policy on the economy and image of the country.
 
“Pocock is to explain to government if the plan is true and why Nigeria is a target. Government is worried about the highly discriminatory policy which tends to portray the country in a bad light,” he explained.
Another source told one of our correspondents that the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, Dr. Dalhatu Tafida,  was  also billed to brief Ashiru    on the development.
 
But Ashiru,  at the 2013 Ministerial Platform on the mid-term activities and achievements of the ministry in Abuja on Monday, said  he had not been contacted officially by the UK authorities  on the development.
He said, “We have not received any official communication from the UK government. When we receive communication, we will study the proposal. I can assure all Nigerians that President Goodluck Jonathan’s government will defend the interest of Nigerians by whatever means it can. When we get the proposal,  we will study it to see how it will  affect  ordinary Nigerians.”
 
 
In the   House of Representatives,  Chairman,  Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ms. Nnena Elendu-Ukeje, stated that the policy was a U-turn on a promise by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, to improve trade relations between the two countries  next year.
 
She said,  “This policy will not foster true  relationship between Nigeria and the UK. It does not promote the spirit of the Commonwealth either.
 
“The same British Government that promised improved trade relations with Nigeria is introducing such a discriminatory policy.
 
“It is a somersault, to say the least.”
 
However, Elendu-Ukeje observed that the policy appeared to be “a political issue.”
 
She explained, “The Conservative Party wants to prove that they are serious about immigration matters. They are doing this to win voters ahead of the next elections.”
 
But, she called on the Federal Government to take urgent steps to register its protest before the take-off date of the policy.
 
“We have to take proactive measures to oppose this policy and by way of reciprocity because next time they will increase this bond of a thing”, she said.
 
The lawmaker recalled that in 2008, the British Government introduced £1,000 “fine” on travellers.
“They tried it first in 2008; today, four years down the line, they are saying that it will be £3,000. What will be the next figure if we don’t take proactive measures now?” Elendu-Ukeje  asked.
 
An expert in constitutional law, Prof. Itse Sagay, also  described the  policy as “  hostile and therefore contrary to international diplomacy.”
 
 He said, “It is evidence of contempt and a clear case of saying ‘we don’t want people from their country and  so let us make it impossible for them to come.
 
 “How many people can pay N750,000 as deposit which the British Government will keep and probably trade with while the owner cannot touch it. I think we need to respond appropriately by also raising impossible barrier to British people coming into Nigeria  so  that at  the end,  we will see who will lose more.
“I think they are making the mistake of believing we need them more than they need us.  In fact,  it is they who are making more out of Nigeria.
 
“They have a wrong idea of their importance to us. We are more important to them than they are to us.”
Meanwhile,  Ashiru said at the   Ministerial Platform  that Nigeria’s   foreign policy in the 70s  could not  be compared with the present.
 
He said, “The problem today is unemployment. We have to use diplomacy to support job creation in Nigeria so that we can develop our private sector to make it  employ more people.
 
“Our youths from universities cannot get jobs. So foreign diplomacy must be used to create jobs and that is what we have been doing.”
 
Justifying the budgets for generators and fuel used by  Nigerian High Commissions in countries with constant power supply, Ashiru said the criticism “is the ignorance of the highest order.”
 
“It is to power the boiler which in most countries in Europe either uses fuel or gas. It is to heat and power the foreign mission houses in winter and also to get hot water.”
 
According to him, the biggest challenge facing the ministry is the plight of Nigerians living abroad.
 
“All ambassadors now know that their priority is to attend to the needs of Nigerians in their countries of accreditation. No Ambassador today is allowed to close his doors on Nigerians,” the minister said.
 
Ashiru warned Nigerians living abroad against drug trafficking, adding that it was tantamount to committing suicide.
 
 “I must   warn those who willfully commit crime and thereby commit suicide. Drug trafficking in some countries attracts death penalty. All the airports today have sophisticated equipment; there is no where you hide the drug in your body that you will not be caught.”
 
Ashiru also ruled out closing any foreign mission house because, “when you close a mission, you lose a friend. Nigeria cannot afford to lose a friend at this time”.
 
He promised that no Nigeria would be treated unjustly in foreign lands.
 
Tagged : Trending, FG summons British High Commissioner, Nigerian travellers to the UK to deposit £3000 as

Headlines Newsview all

March 30 Fixed For Dbanj's Court Hearing

Multiple media reports alleged that D’banj might be dragged to court by a top oil and gas industry player. Nigerian music superstar D’banj is still in ... Full story

5 Nigerians Made The List Of Forbes 2015 Billionaires List

Forbes billionaire list 2015 has been released and the the usual suspects like Bill Gates retains the top spot,  Five Nigerians made the cut – ... Full story

Davido Impregnates Older Lover Sophie Momodu

If this exclusive story reaching us about one of Nigeria’s richest entertainers, David Adeleke otherwise known as Davido is true, then the Aye crooner is ... Full story

Seyi Shay Blasted On Twitter For Meeting The President In A Too Revealing Outfit

The controversial female singer wore this revealing outfit to the Meet the President youth programme that held in Eko Hotel , Lagos . Off course you ... Full story

We Are Not Conductors Angry Nigerian Writes Letter To First Lady

Several days ago Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, urged Nigerians to reject the All Progressives Congress (APC) in next month’s general elections. While addressing women ... Full story

Boko Haram Terrorists Behead Two People In New ISIS-Style Video

The victims, said to be spies, are made to confess their crimes and kneel before being decapitated with their bodies in the full view of ... Full story

President Goodluck Jonathan Interviewd By Al-Jazeera - Video

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has pledged to defeat Boko Haram, the armed group that has killed thousands of ...

Professor Osinbajo Finally Clears The Air On Photo

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has now taken twitter to correct the assertion that the old man in the photo above making the rounds is related to ... Full story

555 Permanent Voter Cards Of Dead Residents Found In Ogun State

At least 555 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) belonging to dead residents from the 21 Local Government Areas of Ogun State have been discovered by the ... Full story

Photos And Information About Mohammed Emwazi Released

Pictures of ruthless killer, Mohammed Emwazi, the ISIS executioner popularly known as Jihadi John and currently the most wanted man in the world has surfaced. ... Full story

Ghanaian Actress Nadia Buari Gives Birth To Twins, Could Jim Iyke Be The Father?

Rumours that Nadia Buari was pregnant some few months ago has turned out to be true and the Ghanaian actress has given birth to twins—that ... Full story

Comment on: £3,000 visa bond: FG summons British High Commissioner

Rate this article

2.00

Breaking News

Super Eagles To Host Bafana Bafana In Friendly Match March 29

Bafana Bafana of South Africa have been chosen as replacement for the Black Stars of Ghana to play the Super Eagles in a friendly on ... Full story

Nadia Buari Welcomes Twins In Undisclosed Hospital

According to Myjoyonline, Ghanaian actress, Nadia Buari, has been delivered of a set f twins in an undisclosed hospital outside the West African country. According to ...

Stella Damasus Aims Big In America

Controversial Nollywood star, Stella Damasus, has made known her wish to achieve what some Nigerians may see as impossible for her to get. The actress, who ...

Pastor Oyakhilome, Estranged Wife Share Children

Last week, Nigeriafilms.com reported that the divorce saga between Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy and his wife, Anita was getting messier and now, reports ...

Pictures: What Celebs Wore To Genevieve Magazine Party In Lagos

Genevieve Magazine threw a party at the Polo Avenue in Lagos on February 26, 2015 to launch its newly designed website and some celebrities graced ...

Nigerian Film Corporation Has Trained 800,000 Youths of Katsina State in Film Production

GOVERNOR IBRAHIM SHEHU SHEMA COMMENDS NIGERIAN FILM CORPORATION ON FILM TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT: PROMISES SUSTAINED PARTNERSHIP AND COLLABORATION Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema of Katsina State has ...

THE FUNNY SIDE OF T.B. JOSHUA

Nigerian Prophet T.B. Joshua has released a video on YouTube showcasing a side of the cleric unknown to many.T.B. Joshua is regularly in the news ...

FIFA Stops Ghana, Nigeria International Friendly

World football governing body (FIFA) has cancelled the proposed international friendly duel between the Nigeria's Super Eagles and the Black Stars of Ghana this month ... Full story

Foluke Daramola’s Ex-Husband Picks Another Wife After 7 Years

Reports making the rounds indicate that the former husband of a top Nigerian actress, Foluke Daramola, Tunde Shobowale, has found love again after about seven ...

I Once Wanted Flavour All For Myself- Yemi Alade

Some people have that special person they wish to have for keeps, but sometimes, things do not go as planned. Top female artiste, Yemi Alade, made ...