Nigerians are treated with disdain at foreign embassies, the reps say.
The House of Representatives on Thursday mandated its Committee on Foreign Affairs to intervene and investigate the treatment of visa applicants by foreign embassies in Nigeria.
The committee is expected to report back to the house within three weeks.
The resolution followed a motion by Kingsley Chinda, which was unanimously adopted by the House without debate when put to vote by the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal.
The motion is entitled, “Poor treatment of Nigerian Visa Applicants by Foreign Embassies in Nigeria”.
Leading the debate, Mr. Chinda expressed concern over the inhumane and poor treatment of such applicants at various embassies across the country.
He said that the inhuman and poor treatment came in various forms, including “non-provision of waiting lounge and seats for prospective Nigerian applicants’’.
He said that applicants were subjected to excessive delays in the processing of visa applications as well as refusal of visas without reasons.
The lawmaker observed that the shabby treatments had subjected the applicants to the rigour of standing or waiting, under the sun and rain for hours before getting attention.
Mr. Chinda noted that Chinese, South African and several other embassies had no conducive waiting or rest places for visa applicants.
“At the Canadian Embassy for instance, it takes a minimum waiting period of about 45 working days for a Nigerian visa applicant to receive response from the Canadian authorities.
“Applicants from other countries take lesser periods,” he said.
He said that in spite of the Federal Government’s protest statement to the Canadian High Commissioner on the issue, the situation remained unchanged.
Mr. Chinda said that the actions of the foreign embassies negated the essence of bilateral and multilateral relationships between Nigeria and their countries.
“Nigerians deserve to be respected and well treated with dignity, particularly in Nigeria, and indeed, anywhere else,” he said.
The speaker referred the motion to the Committee on Foreign Affairs for further legislative inputs.