The House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora said in Abuja on Tuesday that 457 Nigerians are serving various jail terms in Brazilian prisons over drug related offences.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa (ACN-Lagos), the chairman of the committee who made this known at a news conference, said that the number included 14 women. She said that the committee would interact with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Federal Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to look at the treaties signed with Brazil.
According to her, the number of Nigerians in Brazilian prisons is more than the number of Nigerians in prisons across Europe.
Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa said there is a need for public enlightenment to educate Nigerians on the implications of drug trafficking.
Betty Apiafi (PDP-Rivers), a member of the committee, said that the National Assembly would make adequate budgetary allocation to Nigerian missions to acquire international passports for Nigerian citizens abroad.
She said that a situation where Nigerians had to come back to the country before they could renew their passports was unacceptable.
Ms. Apiafi noted that if all Nigerian missions were provided with their own passport machines, the rate at which other countries’ nationals were claiming Nigerian nationality would be reduced drastically.
Abudulrahman Terab (ANPP-Borno), another member of the committee, said that the plight of Nigerians in Brazilian prisons required the intervention of the Federal Government.
He said that the National Assembly in general and the committee in particular is interested in the welfare of Nigerians living abroad.