The Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa has claimed that the United Kingdom will pay dearly if its conservative government goes ahead with the planned 3,000 Pounds visa bond that will be required by some travelers from Nigeria.
Mrs Dabiri-Erewa while speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily demanded that a policy of reciprocity by the federal government on all British travelers to Nigeria, adding that they should “even be made to pay a lot more.”
According to the lawmaker, some level of politics is involved in this policy as she claimed the ruling Tory party which seeks re-election, might be using the immigration policy to drive up sentiments ahead of the polls to help, “but it’s probably going to hurt them more” she warned.
In a bid to curb its immigration crises, the UK government is reported to commence the new visa bond policy by November on first time travelers from countries considered as ‘high-risk’ such as Nigeria, Ghana, India and Pakistan.
The displeased federal lawmaker further described the thought of such policy as insulting saying, “the fact they thought about it is insulting.” “UK should apologise for coming up with the policy at all.”
“They must be made to pay more if they carry out the policy” she added. Mrs Dabiri-Erewa also questioned the essence of the Commonwealth group of nations which Nigeria and UK belongs to. “What is the point of being in the Commonwealth of nations. We might as well just disband that Commonwealth” she said.
She likened the policy to a similar one by the South African government which she claimed, charged Nigerians N100,000 deportation fees which was never paid back to Nigerians that were never deported. The policy was quickly reversed as soon as Nigeria introduced the same policy, she revealed.
On the need to consider the UK’s government bid to address its immigration challenges, Abike declared that it makes no sense to tell to Nigerians to pay 3000pounds because they want to solve their immigration problems because some desperate people will raise the money and stay in the UK forever.
She demands to know how applicants who have been described as ‘high-risk’ will be identified.