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UK Visa bond: Nigeria Should Create Jobs for Its Citizens -Rep. Ukeje

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Against the insistence of UK visa bond, Rep. Nnenna Elendu-
Ukeje, Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on
Foreign Affairs has advised Nigeria to review its policy geared
towards creating jobs for its citizens.

In a statement, the lawmaker said the UK visa bond was
discriminatory and called on Nigeria government to look inward.

Britain’s Home Office confirmed on Monday that it would demand a
3,000-pound ($4,630) refundable bond for visas for “high-risk”
visitors from six former colonies in Africa and Asia as from

Britain said in a statement that it would go ahead with the pilot
scheme despite the outrage, charges of discrimination and
warnings of retaliation.

The Federal Government of Nigeria on Tuesday insisted on
retaliatory action against British citizens if their government went
ahead with its plan to impose a £3, 000 visa bonds on visitors from
Nigeria and five other Commonwealth countries.

Elendu-Ukeje in her reaction said though such policy was
discriminatory, Nigeria government should look out for a policy
that would give jobs for Nigerians within the country.

“This is a call to look critically at our local contents bill,
indigenisation bill and protect Nigeria jobs for Nigerians’’ She said.

Ukeje (PDP-Abia) noted with concern on the need by the Federal
government of Nigeria to take another look at the foreign direct
investment pacts which must aimed at providing job opportunities
for Nigerians at home.

She said the review must be comprehensive and replicated in all
spheres and at all levels to protect Nigerians from such
discriminatory and unfriendly migration issue.

Ukeje expressed displeasure that British government, which had
already set November as the discriminatory policy’s
commencement time, had not deemed it necessary to formally
communicate it on the next step of action.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Gbenga Ashiru, had at a
meeting with the British High Commissioner, Andrew Pocock,
conveyed the desire of Nigeria to retaliate the policy.
The other commonwealth countries are India, Kenya, Sri Lanka,
Pakistan, and Bangladesh where UK data shows citizens of those
countries applied for more than half a million visas to Britain in
2012 alone.

Figures from Nigeria’s Ministry of Trade and Commerce show
trade between the two countries increased nearly five-fold from
$2.35 billion in 2010 to $11.57 billion in 2012, with the value of
Nigerian imports of British goods doubling in that time.

Pocock said that more than 180,000 Nigerians applied to visit
Britain each year and about 70 per cent, 126,000 got their visas.

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