National Union Of Nigerian
Associations In Italy
|Posted on November 22, 2013 at 12:25 AM|
AN ADDRESS BY FARADAY EBOSE (PRESIDENT, NUNAADDRESS BY FARADAY
EBOSE (PRESIDENT, NUNAI – ITALY)
ON THE VISIT OF THE NIGERIANMINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO
ROME ON 10TH SEPTEMBER 2013
The Hon. Ministerfor Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru MFR, His Excellency, Ambassador Eric Tonye Aworabhi Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Italy, Embassy staff, fellow Nigerians, ladies and gentle men.
On behalf of the Nigerians in Italy, I specially thank the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for giving you the opportunity to visit us and listen to problems and progress in Italy. Next, I must express our sincere appreciation to the head of Nigerian mission in Rome Ambassador Eric Tonye Aworabhi for his whole hearted support and services to Nigerians in Italy.
The primary reason for the creation of an embassy or a diplomatic mission of country in another state is to cater for the interest of the sending state and its citizens living in the receiving state among others. Italy is a big state and Nigerians living here are enormous with different degree of problems.Statistically, in Europe apart from United Kingdom, the largest numbers of Nigerians live in Italy with a population of well over 80.000
- In the last twenty years, Nigerians have always agitated for creation of one or more consulate to supplement the Nigerian embassy in Rome. As we reiterated to the Ambassador during our inauguration ceremony, Italy is a big country and longitudinal and many Nigerians have problems coming to Rome to obtain their necessary documents.
Other smaller countries from Africa like Morocco, Ivory Coast and Senegal with lesser or equivalent population of their citizens in Italy have more than two consulates catering and rendering consular service to their citizens in Italy. Therefore, we appeal to the Hon. Ministerto use his good office to reduce some of the problems of Nigerians by creating one Consular office in Milan -one of the commercial capital of the World - and if possible another one in Palermo.
- The introduction of the digital Passport has no doubt helped to resolve mirage of problems associated with immigration and data collection of Nigerians. For Nigerians living in Diaspora and particularly in Italy, we have had to confront with some problems. One of the problems is associated with making payment with credit cards most especially for children who are not of age to have their credit cards. We would like to propose that children under 15 years with no possibilities to have their own cards be allowed to make payment directly at the Nigeria Embassy Rome.
- The joy of every worker is the hope of getting his or her gratuities or pension after retirement. And for over 50,000 Nigerians working in Italy, this hope is be clouded with uncertainties. As at today, a Nigerian working in Italy cannot get his pension transfer to Nigeria after retirement because the Nigeria Government and the Italian counterpart are yet to sign the necessary bilateral agreement that will facilitate this process. Therefore,we stand here today to plead with honorable minister to please help forward a bill to the Nigerian parliament that will help facilitate the signing of the bilateral agreement so that Nigerians who work and retire back to Nigeria can collect their pension in Nigeria.
- On a positive note I wish to inform the honorable minister that the long time stigma of prostitution by Nigerians is reducing every day. These is attributed to Nigeria signing and ratifying the United Nations protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons especially women and children, often refer to as Palermo protocol. Domestic legislation and legal practice has also helped to fight against prostitution and human trafficking.
- Therefore, we are currently working on aproject of rehabilitation for not only prostitutes but another set of socially displaced Men who have been thrown into their present state due to the Economic crises in Europe. This project which will require the federal government backing will be elaborated in our next meeting with the embassy.
- Apart from here in Italy, there are huge complains from our relatives from Nigeria in the way the Italian Embassy in Nigeria treat them when they approach it for validation of documents. We are still being confused to understand why it cost an average of a thousand euro(€1000) to get a document authenticated and its impending procedures at the Italian Embassy in Nigeria. We are currently preparing a document to be presented to the committee for Nigerians in Diaspora in the Nigerian House of Representative and the ministry of Foreign Affairs to help query the relevance of this excessive cost. Our investigation has revealed that such cost and proceduresare not requested in other countries except in Nigeria.
The Honorable Minister, Nigeria is a great country, and according to the World Bank report’s, Nigeriais one of the world’s fastest growing economies and Nigerians in Diaspora needto be constantly informed of the vast opportunities that abound. A lot us do not know what the Diaspora bond is all about which according to Hon Akinlaja a member of the Nigerian house of representative who in his recent speech at a two-day Corporate Nigerian stakeholders and investors forum in New York highlighted the existence $500.million which Nigerians in Diaspora could benefit from.
In this regards, National Union of Nigerian Associations in Italy (NUNAI) in collaboration with the Nigerian Embassy Rome will host an Economic conference in Italy in the second quarter of 2014 and possibly another one in the first quarter of 2015. This we believe, will help bring investors to Nigeria and also help prepare Nigeria for the WORLD EXPO of 2015 to be held in Milan from May 1st to October 31st 2015. We also want to appeal to the Honorable Minister that at least a Nigerian resident in Italy should be elected into the planning committee for expo 2015 in Milan.
Voting is a right for all Nigerians. But we have been disenfranchised by our sojournout side our home land. We hereby, join other Nigerians in Diaspora to call for the implementation of the right to vote. We are Nigerians and deserve the right to choose who governs us as a people
In conclusion,we would want to remind the Honorable Minister that governance is governance no matter the level. We therefore, appeal to the Nigeria government to make provision for the governance of Nigerians in Diaspora. Our conditions has been worsen by the short fall which emanated from the ongoing from economic crises and this limited our resources and ability to govern and manage our various Association
God Bless youand wish you safe journey back to our country Nigeria.