Nigerians in South Africa have commended the federal government for approving the 10-year validity period for Nigerian passport and called for the speedy implementation of the policy, Thisday reports.
The President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa (NUSA), Adetola Olubajo, who spoke during a courtesy visit to the Special Senior Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in Abuja on Friday, however, called for safeguards against exploitation of Nigerians most especially those in the Diaspora.
Olubajo disclosed that his association had in the past written to the federal government to extend the validity period of the passport to 10 years. “We however call for speedy implementation and also for measures to be put in place to avoid ripping off Nigerians most especially those of us in Diaspora,” he said.
Apart from writing letters to the Nigerian Immigration Service and the federal government, Olubajo explained that the union also made representation for the extension of the validity period of passport to President Muhammadu Buhari during his state visit to South Africa in 2015. Meanwhile, a national think-tank on foreign policy, Association of Foreign Relations Professionals of Nigeria (AFRPN), has said that it is working with the government to address xenophobic killings in South Africa.
President of the association, Ambassador Gani Lawal, explained that Nigeria cannot break diplomatic relations with South Africa over the killings of Nigerian nationals. He disclosed that AFRPN as an association had provided research materials that could assist in curbing the attacks. According to Lawal, the formation of AFRPN was to fill a vacuum in foreign relations and diplomacy in the country by availing the government with the experience and expertise of the members.
Lawal disclosed that the association would be inaugurated in Abuja on July 31, 2018 with a lecture by a former Minister of External Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, noting that the event would be chaired by the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi.