Greek Embassy in Abuja has denied visas to 20 Nigerian philosophers heading for the World Congress of Philosophers in Athens without refund of their fees.
President, Nigerian Philosophical Association, NPA, Professor Joseph Agbakoba, disclosed this to Vanguard in an interview in Nsukka yesterday.
He said for over a month, the Greek Embassy had ceased processing of visa applications of members of the association intending to attend the 23rd World Congress of Philosophers scheduled to hold in Athens, Greece, in August.
Prof. Agbakoba, who is also the dean, School of General Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, noted that the 20 members had registered and paid to attend the congress as well as made hotel reservations, adding that those affected had not been able to buy their tickets because of non-issuance of visas.
He explained that several contacts with the Greek Embassy yielded no results, as embassy officials blamed the delay in visa issuance on relocation of the embassy to Abuja from Lagos.
According to him, the fear of applicants was compounded by rising cost of air fare which increases almost on weekly basis.
Prof. Agbakoba said air fare to Greece, which was N180,000 a few months ago, had now risen to N300,000, fearing that it could rise further before the commencement of the congress.
He said his group had written the embassy informing it of its members’ inability to buy their tickets without visas, adding that no less than 250,00 Euro had been paid for members’ participation in the congress.
“Nigeria Philosophical Association has been attending other world congresses in different countries across the globe, why the quandary in this present one in Athens which has compelled me the to talk, considering the enormity of embarrassment and time it has cost the entire association for over three months they registered for the 23rd world congress in Athens?” he queried.