Wednesday, June 29, 2022

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1.5 million Nigerians stuck in Italy, can’t get job or return home

An estimated 1.5 million Nigerians in Italy cannot return home or get a job in the country because they do not have Nigerian passports.

This was disclosed by Mr George Omo-Iduhon, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE), Italy Chapter.

Omo-Iduhon stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Saturday while reflecting on the activities of NIDOE in Europe.

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

Omo-Iduhon said that out of about three million Nigerians registered in Italy, 1.5 million of them needed passports, which had prevented them from returning home or getting jobs.

“One of the problems we are facing as Nigerians living in Italy is acute shortage of Nigerian passport. Most times, we go to the embassy to address the problem.

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

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

“About 1.5 million Nigerians in Italy don’t have passports, even some of those that have been accepted by Italian government have not been issued passport which makes it difficult for them to work,” he said.

The chairman said that the supply of 500 booklets of passport to the Nigerian embassy in Italy was grossly inadequate to serve the number of the citizens that needed it.

“The number of booklets allocated to the embassy in Italy, which is 500 is insignificant to the number of applicants; even giving Italy 20,000 booklets in a month may not go round.

“Using the same sharing formula for all the countries in Europe cannot work in Italy where we have more Nigerian residents. We cannot be compared with Sweden with fewer number of Nigerians residents.

“We are appealing to the relevant government agencies and our amiable Minister for Internal Affairs, Alhaji Rauf Aregbesola, to help us address this issue.

“The Chairman of NIDCOM, Mrs Abike Dabiri, has tried for us as well,” he said.

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