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1.5 million Nigerians in Italy need passport – Diaspora organisation

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George Omo-Iduhon

George Omo-Iduhon, President of the Organization of Nigerians in the Diaspora of Europe, NIDOE, Italy Chapter, said that more than 1.5 million registered Nigerians urgently needed Nigerian passports.

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Nigerian News Agency

Mr. Omo-Iduhon stated this in an interview with the Nigerian News Agency in Lagos on Saturday while reflecting on NIDOE’s activities in Europe.

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Olusegun Obasanjo

NAN reports that NIDOE is the European arm of a global Nigerian diaspora network, established in 2000 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

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NIDOE is based in London, where it serves 21 regional chapters.

Omo-Iduhon said that of roughly 3 million Nigerians registered in Italy, 1.5 million of them needed passports, which had prevented them from returning home or getting work.

“One of the problems we face as Nigerians living in Italy is the acute shortage of Nigerian passports. Most of the time, we go to the embassy to address the issue.

“What we usually get in response is a shortage of brochures and backlogs. The government should help address this problem because Italy serves as a gateway to other countries in Europe, especially for Nigerians.

Most Nigerians

“Most Nigerians prefer to have their political asylum in Italy. In Italy, we have more Nigerians than in other European countries; Nigerians registered according to the database are three million apart from the undocumented.

Nigerians in Italy

“About 1.5 million Nigerians in Italy do not have passports, even some of those who have been accepted by the Italian government have not received passports, which makes it difficult for them to work,” he said.

The president said that the supply of 500 passport brochures to the Nigerian embassy in Italy was extremely inadequate to cater for the number of citizens in need.

“The number of brochures assigned to the embassy in Italy, which is 500, is insignificant for the number of applicants; even giving Italy 20,000 brochures in a month may not be distributed.

“Using the same exchange formula for all European countries cannot work in Italy, where we have more Nigerian residents. We cannot compare ourselves to Sweden with fewer Nigerian residents.

Minister of the Interior

“We appeal to the relevant government agencies and our kind Minister of the Interior, Alhaji Rauf Aregbesola, to help us address this problem.

Abike Dabiri

“The president of NIDCOM, Mrs. Abike Dabiri, has also tried for us,” he said.

Omo-Iduhon said the body had a leadership change in July 2021, after an election, adding that the new administration was poised to improve the welfare of Nigerians.

Nigerians in Italy

“We have just held our elections in July this year, the first thing we have proposed as a team is to improve the well-being of Nigerians in Italy. This is of the utmost importance to us.

“We are also in contact with the Nigerian embassy in Italy to do the right thing at the right time and, more importantly, our mandate to bring investors from Italy to Nigeria.

President Obasanjo

“We need to grow Nigeria’s economy, a mission that former President Obasanjo set us up to help in the development drive,” he added.

NIDOE is recognized as an official platform through which Nigerians in the diaspora, their community, organization and corporate entities can channel their development efforts towards Nigeria.

Foreign Direct Investment

The organization partners with the Nigerian community, professional organizations, and public and private companies in specific areas such as Foreign Direct Investment, professional networks, stakeholder advocacy, medical missions, educational support, and skills transfer to Nigeria.

YAYA

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