Reps wade into shabby treatment of Visa applicants

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From JOSHUA I. EGBODO, Abuja
THE House of Representatives yesterday mandated its Committee on Foreign Affairs to intervene, as well as investigate issues of alleged shabby treatment being meted out to Nigerian visa applicants by foreign embassies in the country. The Committee has three weeks to report back.
This was the fallout of its resolution on a motion sponsored by Kingsley Chinda, and five other members.
The members in the motion argued that the inhuman treatment of Nigerian visa applicants in the country come in different ways, “including non provision of waiting lounge and seats for prospective Nigerian visa applicants by making them stand, or wait under the sun and rain, endlessly before being attended to, excessive delay in the processing of visa applications, refusal of visa without reasons, among others.”
Chinda who moved the motion on behalf of his colleagues specifically named South Africa and Chinese Embassies as some of those without conducive waiting or rest place for visa applicants, and the Canadian Embassy as having the penchant for delaying response to Nigeria applicants for upward of about 45 working days, “whilst applicants from other countries take lesser periods.”
He said in spite of Federal Government’s protest against such treatments, the situation in various foreign embassies in the country have remained the same, adding that the “actions of the foreign embassies negate the essence of bilateral and multilateral relationship between Nigeria and these other countries.”
Meanwhile, the House in a resolution on another motion, moved on the near collapse of technical and vocational education in Nigeria, by Chris Azubogu mandated its committee on education to carry out stakeholders’ public hearing with a view to seeking out how to reposition the sector.
According to the lawmaker, technical and vocational education established to provide skilled workers for technological development and industrialization had nose-dived to the lowest ebb in recent times.
“The nation’s technological development is hinged on the quality of skilled workforce produced by vocational and technical institutions into the labour market and the economy,” the lawmaker stated, adding that the quality of artisans and technicians have degenerated of the years, leading the reliance on expatriates for jobs as simple as painting, welding, carpentry and many more.

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