The Nigeria Immigration Service captures a Nigerian in Padova during FG consular intervention to Padova Province, Italy
By Lizzy Okoji
Some Nigerians in Italy have commended the Federal Government for responding to their challenge of passport scarcity, noting that about 7000 had been captured for passport in the past 11 months.
They made this known in separate virtual interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, at the end of the urgent consular interventions of the Federal Government across provinces of Italy.
NAN reports that over 7000 Nigerians in Italy were registered during the recent consular intervention which was facilitated by the Nigerian Embassy in Rome from Aug. 25 to Aug. 30.
Mr Raymond Ndakuba, President, National Union of Nigerian Associations in Italy (NUNAI) said that the exercise was a great development and a historic one as it was extended beyond Rome to other provinces; Verona, Padova and Parma.
Ndakuba said that a total of over 672 Nigerians got captured in the recent exercise, 200 captured Verona, 319 in Padova and 153 in Parma, among other, amounting to 7,000 Nigerians being captured for their international passport in 11 months
“It is a very historic day for Nigerians living in Parma. The Embassy and the immigration in collaboration with the NUNAI are doing the consular service here.
“It has been a long time that the people of Parma have not enjoyed one this service but today through the wonderful efforts of his Excellency, Amb. Omini Abam.
“And, his staff members of the Embassy, the immigration, we are happy to have them here today and they are treating Nigerians very well.
“In the past 11 months, they have captured over 7000 Nigerians . I know that the major problems of Nigerians is this passport and this passport is not their fault.
“We know that our passports are being produced in a foreign country and because of this, most Nigerians do not get their passports immediately after capturing.
“But we plead with the embassy and the immigration that they should do their best to make sure that we get this passport maybe few months after the capturing is done,” Ndakuba said.
Pastor Mike Oputteh, Welfare Officer of NUNAI, who supervised the exercise across the provinces, appreciated the Comptroller of Immigration who sent a team from Nigeria to Italy to make the exercise a reality.
Oputteh said that as an Association, the priority of the leadership of NUNAI was to ensure that Nigerians living in Italy get the best of every service from both the Nigerian and Italian authorities.
“I thank the Comptroller General of Immigration for this opportunity given to Nigerians in Italy, for not making them to travel down to Rome for their passports, now we are in Parma.
“I want to say a very big thank you to His Excellency Nigeria Ambassador to Italy Abam for giving Nigerians this opportunity in their own community for them to be captured for their passport.
“I want to thank the Minister of Interior, His Excellency, Rauf Aregbesola, the Assistant Comptroller General, Mr Auna Usman, he led the delegation of this team and our attachee 1, Larai Zakari who is also here in person to attend to this exercise.
“We thank Ambassador for fulfilling his promise of addressing the challenges of passport scarcity,” Oputteh said
Mrs Victoria Obesi, a Nigerian who was successfully captured in Padova, said that the bringing the exercise to Padova saved her 200 euros which could have used for transportation cost to Rome.
“It is a very a very welcoming development and it is wonderful because it cuts us some expenses to bring it here and we are very happy.
“It might cost like 200 euro. I say thank you so much to the ones is charge of this immigration process. The work is too much,” Obesi said.
Mr David Frank, National Secretary, NUNAI said that as compared to other countries, Nigerians in Italy had been able to get their necessary demands from the Embassy, describing themselves as quite privileged.
On the passport exercise, he commended the relevant authorities for the smooth organization, and Nigerians for being orderly and peaceful.
“The immigration came all the way from Abuja to do intervention of people who most likely would not have been able to go to Rome for their passport.
“Unlike what you hear about Nigerians, you can see that everything is going on smooth, everyone is well behaved.
“And I want to use the opportunity to thank the immigration officers that came from Abuja, they have been so cooperative.
“Some people that think Nigerians are being exploited by the Embassies. In Italy, you will see that we are very privileged to have our Ambassador that is a listening one, the immigration staff, especially the head of immigration who is more or less like a mother to us
“The issue of passport, we know that even in Nigeria, we have shortage of booklets and that have been the major problem.
“I have no belief that nobody will want to sit on their passport I want to beg Nigerians to show them some little understanding. This work that they are doing is not as easy as we thought,” Frank said.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Isaac Aregbesola