From Tony Osauzo, Benin
There is heightened tension and strained relationship between the Nigeria Consular office in Italy and its citizens resident in the country over the shortage of international passports.
In a passionate letter titled “NUNAI’s passionate appeal to your exalted office”addressed to the leadership of the National Assembly and made available to Daily Sun, the National Union of Nigeria Association in Italy (NUNAI), decried the difficulties Nigerians face in procuring international passports at the Consular Office in Rome.
The group urged the National Assembly to urgently intervene by calling on relevant government agencies to end the crisis. The group also sent a copy of the letter to the Controller General of Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS).
In the letter by the national president, Samson Hodge Iriakannu and Secretary, Nosa Osawaru, respectively, the group lamented that large numbers of Nigerians seeking to renew their passports have been ignored by the Consulate and that this had led to frustrations among those seeking to regularise their stay in Italy. NUNAI said that it was not relenting in its desire to ensure that the problem was resolved.
“The official record of Nigerians seeking for greener pastures in Italy is over 180,000 with a sizeable number of professionals. On the issuance of Nigeria passports, Italy houses the vast majority of Nigerians only behind the United Kingdom in the whole of Europe, yet we are only entitled to a short supply of international passports. This has caused a major uproar amongst Nigerians here in Italy.”