Nigerians living in South Africa have urged the Federal Government to prevail on its South African counterpart to relax the permit/visa restrictions for Nigerians as obtained in other African countries.
The President of Nigeria Union in South Africa (NUSA), Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
Anyene urged President Muhammad Buhari to use the occasion of President Jacob Zuma’s two-day visit to Nigeria to address their concerns.
He said that law-abiding Nigerians in South Africa were facing difficult situations on a daily basis.
He said that immigration laws in South Africa were recently reviewed and had practically rendered a lot of foreign nationals, including Nigerians illegal immigrants.
“It has now become very difficult to acquire South African permits; Nigerians in South Africa are made to face numerous bottlenecks when trying to renew their temporary residence permits.
“The same thing cannot be said of South Africans visiting or working in Nigeria.
“We feel it will be fair if South African authorities can relax the permit and visa restrictions for Nigerians as they have done for Southern African countries like Zimbabwe and Lesotho,” he said.
He said that the union was willing to work with the foreign ministry to project the good image of Nigeria.
Anyene said that the union was always willing to support the efforts of South African authorities in maintaining law and order within Nigerian communities in that country.
He said that the union had developed an identity card for all Nigerians in collaboration with the Consulate General in Johannesburg.
“We will like to suggest that the identity card be given recognition as another means of identification alongside others,“ he said.
He also appealed to the Federal Government to urgently intervene in the delay in acquiring a replacement passport when they lose their passports.
“This can be done by empowering the immigration officials at our various consulate offices to approve the re-issuance of lost passports instead of the current process of waiting for approval from Abuja,” he said. (NAN) – leadership.ng