The House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs has advised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take steps against British Government’s proposed 3,000 pounds bond on Nigerians travelling to the UK.
This is with a view to protecting the interest of Nigerians in case the policy was implemented.
The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Nnenna Ukeje, gave the advice at a meeting with the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Martin Uhomoibhi, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Ukeje said the aggregate opinion of members of the house was that the policy was `discriminatory’ and should be resisted by the Nigerian Government.
“We should have a blanket policy on what we should do when this policy comes on board. It is discriminatory,” she said.
Responding, Uhomoibhi told the lawmakers that the policy was only being muted by the UK Government, adding that it had not been finalised.
He said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Olugbenga Ashiru, had met with the British High Commissioner to Nigeria over the matter, pointing out that efforts were being made to handle it diplomatically.
He said: “when the minister met with the High Commissioner, he confirmed that the policy was still being considered, but regretted that it was leaked to the media.
“He assured that even when it comes on stream, only Nigerian first time visitors to UK will be affected.
“The high commissioner also confirmed that the government has not yet agreed on what should be the bond.
“It was agreed that Nigeria will surely be among the countries that will be affected.
Quoting the high commissioner, the permanent secretary explained that the UK Government mooted the idea to reduce the number of immigrants from nations it classified as “high risk” countries.
Uhomoibhi, however, said the minister told the high commissioner that the impending policy would surely attract some repercussions and stressed the need for Britain to have a rethink.