By Adibe Emenyonu
The National Union of Nigerian Association in Italy (NUNAI) has decried the inability and difficulty experienced by Nigerians in Italy in procuring international passports at consular office in Rome.
The association ascribed this to the heightened tension and strained relationship between the Nigeria Consular office and its citizens in Italy over the shortage of Nigerian passports
The association, therefore, appealed for the urgent intervention by the leadership of the National Assembly over the shortages so that relevant authorities in charge of issuance of passport can come to their aid.
The call was contained in a letter captioned: ‘NUNAI Passionate Appeal to Your Exalted Office’, which was signed by its National President and National Secretary of the body, Mr. Samson Hodge Iriakannu and, Deacon Nosa Osawaru respectively.
The letter, which was addressed to the leadership of the Senate, House of Representatives and the Controller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), and made available to journalists in Benin-city, appealed for increase in the quantity of passports allocation to Italy in addition to the establishment of another consular office to ease congestion in Rome.
It lamented that large numbers of Nigerian citizens seeking to renew their passport have been ignored by the authorities which has led to daunting pressure and frustration among Nigerians seeking to regularise their stay in Italy.
The association also added that it was playing a significant role with the Embassy on the campaign against human trafficking, drug peddling and other vices capable of tarnishing the image of Nigeria.
Part of the letter read: “The official record of Nigerians seeking greener pastures in Italy is over 180, 000 with a sizable number of professionals, and their contributions to the economic growth of Italy and Nigeria can’t be over emphasised.
“Despite all these, NUNAI as a body have been faced with daunting issues arising from the embassy which has put the union under immense pressure.
“On the issuance of Nigeria passports, Italy houses the vast majority of Nigerians only behind the United Kingdom in Europe, yet we are only entitled to a short supply, and this has caused a major uproar among Nigerians in Italy if not for the diplomacy employed by the NUNAI leadership to curtain the situation.”