House of Representatives yesterday appealed to the Israeli authorities, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to stay action on the planned deportation of Nigerian citizens pending the issuance of passports to them.
The House also urged the Ministry of Interior to mandate the Nigerian Immigration Service to open an office in Israel where passports could be issued. The resolution by the House was sequel to a motion entitled “call for issuance of international passports to Nigerians living in Israel to enable renewal of their visas” sponsored by Hon. Golu Simon and three others.
While moving the motion on the floor of the House, the law maker worried that the Nigerian Immigration Service and Ministry of Foreign Affairs have not visited Israel for about 2 years to provide international passports to Nigerian citizens as it has been done previously.
“This failure has created identity crisis for the Nigerians living in the Holy Land following the revocation of their resident permits which has brought untold hardships on them following which they now beseech the Nigerian embassy in Tel-Aviv to obtain letters of introduction to enable them move freely and carry out their legitimate businesses”, the lawmaker said.
He said that since the Nigerian embassy in Israel has no authority to print and issue passports and cannot obtain assistance from neighbouring countries due to the crisis in the Middle East, passports should be made available. “If not addressed urgently, the situation is capable of giving a bad image to Nigeria, “Simon said.
The House which adopted the motion after it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara also mandated its committees on Foreign Affairs and Interior to liaise with the Nigerian Immigration to ascertain the situation and proffer a solution to it. The Speaker, in his ruling, referred the motion to the House committees on Foreign Affairs and Legislative Compliance for further input.
-Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja