Posted by Olaniyi Abodedele on Saturday, May 10, 2014 Under: News Stories
The president of Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA), Hon. Ikechukwu Anyene has confirmed that the much anticipated Consular Card will start before the end of July. Hon Ayene made this known in an interview with The Nigerian Voice Newspaper at his office on Struben Street in Pretoria on the 26th of April 2014. “We believe that before the end of July the consular card will be launched and we will take it from there”, declares Anyene.
Hon. Anyene explained that the card will double as a Consular/Nigeria Union membership card. The reason for the Consular card, according Anyene, is because many Nigerians have bombarded the Union with complain of Nigerians been arrested because they do not carry their passports for fear of losing them. The solution to this challenge is what Anyene called the “Consular/Nigeria Union Card”.
He explained further that “the Consular card will also double as a membership card for Nigeria union. We came up with this idea of a consular card because we have been bombarded with a lot of complain by Nigerians arrested for not carrying their passport around.”
Hon. Okey Emuchay MFR the Consul General also confirmed the Consular card project. In a recent interview with The Nigerian Voice Newspaper in his office at the Nigerian Consulate, Illovo, the Consul General said that the Nigerian Consulate and Embassy have been working on this project for quite some time. According to him, the consular card will soon be introduced to curb the frequent issue of lost or misplaced passport. “A lot of our nationals have the habit of losing their passports for reasons which is obvious. Sometimes they are stopped on the road, in their work places or public places by the police to produce their identity, for that reason they need to constantly carry their passport about. So part of what we are doing with this is to generate what we call a consular card that will have the same information they have on the data page of their e-passport with their passport photograph. So, when the police stops you, you just produce your consular card and show them. So you safeguard your e-passport”, explained the Consul General.
The Union President Hon. Anyene narrated a passport-carrying related incident involving went f about 145 Nigerians who were arrested in Germiston. “In-fact in one instance about 145 Nigerians were arrested and detained in Germiston police station on Thursday 20th March to Monday 24th March 2014 for not carrying their passports”. “When we visited them most of them have their passport and permit, but they don’t want to carry their passport around because when they lose their passport to acquire another passport is a problem. They will have to travel to Abuja because of the policy of the Nigerian Immigration services that lost passports can only be re-issued in Abuja, but if unfortunately they get arrested they will phone their next of kin or wives to bring their passports”, Anyene revealed.
“We are still working out the modalities and logistics. We are still doing the necessary things, when it is launched, the forms will be out, and people will have to register through the Provincial and ward structures of the Nigeria Union. The cost and other implications have not been worked out. We still have to work out those things before it is launched and we will be able to announce the details”, Hon Anyene noted during the interview.
The Union president also stated that the long overdue consular card will serve three purposes. “It’s a project that is long overdue, in fact the response we are receiving from Nigerians is overwhelming, Nigerians are waiting for the consular card to be rolled out, but we are waiting for the High Commission and Consulate to finalize their side. They have promised that the Consular Card will be linked to the Home Affairs so that our people would not need to carry their passports around, they can keep their passport at home and only carry it when they are travelling out of the country”.
“So the Consular card will serve three purpose, those purpose are: to elevate the problem Nigerians encounter when they carry their passports around. Secondly, it will help in the census of Nigerians in South Africa. And thirdly, it will curb the tendencies of non-Nigerians acquiring Nigerian passports”.
The President revealed another problem with the Nigerian passport whereby people who are not Nigerians are carrying Nigerian passports. “In one of our normal visits to the prisons, we encountered two people with Nigerian passports that are not Nigerians. They claimed to be Nigerians, but on interviewing them we found out that they are West Africans. Obviousl,y they are not Nigerians. They acquired the Nigerian Passport one way or the other” revealed, the Union president.
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