The Senate has urged the Federal Government to diplomatically engage the British Government on its proposed €3,000 Visa Bond on Nigerians travelling to the United Kingdom.
This followed a motion brought by Sen. Matthew Nwagwu (PDP -Imo), on Thursday.
In his motion, Nwagwu prayed the Senate to condemn the selective and discriminatory imposition of visa bond on Nigerians travelling to the UK.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that Nwagwu, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, described the planned visa bond on Nigerians as “selective, discriminatory, vexatious and unprecedented’’.
He said the policy, which was slated to come into operation from Nov. 1, would place undue barriers on the path of Nigerians intending to travel to the UK for legitimate reasons.
Earlier, Sen. Olubunmi Adetumbi (APC-Ekiti), had advised the Senate to avoid taking action over “a speculative policy”, adding that the timing of the motion was wrong.
“We should act on the basis of reality rather than making an issue out of a speculative policy,’’ he said.
Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri (PDP-Bayelsa) suggested that Nigeria’s diplomatic authorities should discuss with their British counterparts on possible steps to address the issue.
“This policy is still at the proposal stage, at best, it is for us to urge our relevant diplomatic authorities to engage in discussion with the British Government,’’ he said.
Contributing, Sen. Barnabas Gemade (PDP-Benue), described the issue as “sensitive’’, and advised that it be handled with care because it concerned the internal policy of a sovereign country.
“Such a pre-emptive action, if driven strongly, may have negative diplomatic implications.
“We should wait for a conclusive action to be taken by the British government before we can follow up with appropriate reaction,” Gemade advised.