£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

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Loses N241bn In 10 Months

A total of N240.98bn was lost by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation between January and October this year, latest figures from the firm’s oil and ... Full story

Only God Knows When I Would Get Married - Empress Njama

Not much has been heard from Nollywood diva, Empress Njama, since she relocated from Lagos to Abuja. However, the actress who was in town over ... Full story

Shocking: Policemen Treat Us Like Their ATMs - Lagos S3x Workers

In the early 1960s up till the late 1990s, the area used to be very popular among revelers from within and outside Lagos. Day and ... Full story

Without Prison’s Vocational Training, We’d Be Back To Crime – Ex - Inmates

In this sequel to the report about inmates studying and piling up university degrees in Nigerian prisons, KUNLE FALAYI tracks ex-inmates who live on skills ... Full story

EFCC Arrests ‘PASTOR’ For N200m Alleged Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has arrested one Jonathan Ibinabo Alatoru, a self-acclaimed pastor and Chief Executive Officer, Chemtronics Nigeria Limited, for conspiracy, forgery ...

Story Of Nigeria's Notorious Armed Robber, Derico Nwamama (True Story)

This is the story of one of the notorious armed robbers in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria who freely unleashed terror on both the civilians ... Full story

Toyin Aimakhu Threatens To Sue Blogger Who Reported She Was Beaten Up By New Lover

Through her lawyer, Nollywood actress, Toyin Aimakhu has written a letter to a lagos blogger who reported a news that her new lover beat her ... Full story

Blow Money Fast! See How Nigerian Starboy, Wizkid Spends His Millions (Photos)

Wizkid is a force to be reckoned with as far as Nigerian music is concerned as he is currently raking in a large chunk of ... Full story

Nigerian Gay Activist, Bisi Alimi, Finally Visits Nigeria, Shares His Experience (Photos)

An elated Bisi Alimi who has finally visited Nigerian after 8 years, has disclosed how happy he is to come back home and was able ... Full story

Idris Elba: I Almost Died While Filming Movie 'BEAST OF NO NATION'

The actor has opened up about the scary experience, as he almost plummeted to his death when the branch he was holding snapped Idris Elba almost ... Full story

SHOCKING: Model Has 15 Surgeries SIX RIBS Removed, To Look Like Cartoon Character Jessica Rabbit (Video)

Pixee Fox is just 25 and has already had 15 surgeries on her bottom, breasts, nose, eyelids and brow A woman who is transforming herself from ... Full story

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

Rate this article


Featured author


Breaking News

Nollywood Money Can’t Feed My Children…Empress Njamah

Nollywood actress, Empress Njamah, may have not been to many locations as such, make the actress has continued to make headlines with her various philanthropic ...

My Doctor Approved Me to Dance on Stage in Uganda…Tiwa Savage

Every woman after going through a successful nine months journey sure has various stories to tell on how everything went which is why it is ...

I’m Equal to the Task Being a State Ambassador…Iyanya Boasts

Singer, Iyanya, will always continue to smile before going to bed at night after he was picked among the crowd to become an ambassador of ...

I Went into Music Because I was once a Choir Master…Saint Obi

Popular Nollywood actor who has been long absence in the make-believe world, Saint Obi, has continued to leave many marveled after he recently ventured into ...

Nigerian Music Industry Does not Recognise Old Artistes… Rasquie

One of Nigeria’s hi-hop pioneers whose reign in the early 90s created many club bangers, Rasquie believes that the younger generation of artistes are the ...

Super Eagles Star John Ogu Picks Wedding Date

About a month ago, Nigerian midfielder, John Ogu gave Hapoel Beer Sheva fans a double dose of excitement on Saturday, October 3, 2015 as he ...

Exclusive: I Have Crush On Chris Okotie And I Will Like To Marry A Pastor Actress - Sapphire Adaobi obi

The Nigerian movie industry is indeed growing and accommodating several young talents who are now in competition with others towards carving a niche for themselves ...

Funny Photos From Mavins Star Studded Music Video Jantamata

To spice up his birthday which was yesterday, Thursday, November 26, Mavin Record Boss, Don Jazzy released a star-studded video for their song- Jantamata. With Mavins ...

Furious Ebube Nwagbo And Fans Fight On Instagram Over Her Picture With Messi

Hell has being let loose on the Instagram page of delectable Nollywood actress, Ebube Nwagbo AKA Posh Baby. The whole ugly drama kicked off when the ...

Waje, Chidinma, Ini Edo Join The Black Season (Photos)

It’s a Black Friday and it seems our joining the trend. During the week, these three beautiful ladies making wonders in the Nigerian entertainment industry ...