Reps knock Minister over poor treatment of Nigerians abroad
The House of Representatives on Tuesday knocked the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, over the continued maltreatment of Nigerians in foreign countries.
The Egyptian police had last month arrested eight Nigerians for participating in the#EndSARS protests in their home country.
The Nigerians – four men and four women – were arrested in Cairo and taken to a detention centre in the country’s capital.
The Chairman of the Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said on Monday seven of the arrested persons had been listed for deportation for lack of resident permits.
The lawmakers expressed their displeasure over the treatment of Nigerians in Diaspora when Onyeama appeared at the House for the defence of the ministry’s 2021 budget proposal.
In his address, the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Yakub, expressed concerns that the ministry was yet to get Nigerians respected in their various places of abode abroad.
He faulted the lukewarm attitude of the ministry, towards the welfare of Nigerians abroad.
Yakub said: “Despite the much you have done these past years, Nigeria, as a nation, remained the whipping child of the world. We are buffeted on all sides and our nationals still suffer the very poor fate of carrying the green passport that many parts of the world hate to see.
“The problem is not about you, it is not about us in the House, but it concerns and worries us that we cannot get our international image to fit into the acceptable module of the international community.
“From Ghana to Gabon, South Africa to Libya, Nigerians remained at the receiving end of most times, state-supported violence, and all forms of ill-treatment in foreign jurisdictions, including Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
.“Despite what is usually, allocated to these Missions, it is worrying that what we have as Embassies and High Commissions are places whose activities are from what the nation requires of such places.”