Nigeria slams British visa plan as 'discriminatory'

2013-06-27 08:51
Abuja - Nigeria on Tuesday blasted as "discriminatory" a British plan to force visitors from the west African country and some other selected Commonwealth nations to provide a cash bond before they can enter Britain.

Foreign minister Olugbenga Ashiru expressed Nigeria's displeasure at the plan when he met in his office the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Andrew Pocock, a foreign ministry statement said.

The minister described the policy "as not only discriminatory but also capable of undermining the spirit of the Commonwealth family," it said.

The Sunday Times newspaper had reported that from November, a pilot scheme would target visitors from Nigeria, India and Pakistan plus Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Ghana.

Visitors aged 18 and over would be forced to hand over £3 000 (R46 000 at R15 for a pound) from November for a six-month visit visa.

They will forfeit the money if they overstay in Britain after their visa has expired.

Ashiru told the British diplomat that Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, "has a responsibility to take appropriate measures to protect the interest of Nigerians who may be affected by the proposed policy, if finally introduced," the statement said.

The British High Commission in Nigeria after the meeting issued a statement quoting Pocock as saying that his government planned to undertake "a very small scale trial of the use of financial bonds as a way of tackling abuse in the immigration system (which occurs when some people overstay their visa terms)."

He said that the details of the pilot scheme were still being worked out and if it goes ahead in Nigeria, it would affect only a very small number of the highest risk visitors.

"The vast majority would not be required to pay a bond. Those paying bonds would receive the bond back, if they abided by the terms of their visa."

More than 180 000 Nigerians apply to visit Britain each year and about 70 percent or around 125 000 of these applicants are successful, he said.

A Home Office official said the six countries highlighted were those with "the most significant risk of abuse".

 
Read more on:    travel international

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel

 
/Sport
 

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:

 
 

You won't want to miss...

Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Hip Cape Town bars to discover this summer

#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.