By Chioma Obinna
As President Goodluck Jonathan visits China this week, Nigerians living in Guangzhou part of the country have asked him to provide them with a consular office in the city.

In a statement, spokesperson of Nigerians in China, Mr. Festus Mbisiogu, expressed confident that the President’s visit would produce the long-awaited consular office in Guaugzhou as well as put an end to the plight of Nigerians in the cause of processing visa and other relevant travelling and working documents.

Guangzhou is the largest city in China. An estimated 30,000 Nigerians reportedly live in the city.

The Nigerians noted the imperative of the appeal considering their  tortuous process of obtaining working and travelling documents.

They also posited that establishment of a consular office by the Nigerian government in Guaugzhou province will ease their plight.

Mbisiogu who is also the Managing Director of Blue Diamond Logistics, said: “I don’t know why the Federal Government choose to situate the Nigeria Consulate in Shanghai, the Chinese financial Capital but the reality is that Nigeria Consulate is distance from our people who are the backbone of the nation’s foreign policy”.

He said government should realise that consulate is the backbone of Nigeria’s foreign policy and consular services hence; it must take a second look at the nation’s diplomatic priorities as nearness of consular office will bring diplomats closer to the plight of Nigerians in foreign land without unnecessary bureaucracies.

“The consular office when established would make life easier for Nigerians resident in China, particular the over 80 percent of Nigerians living in Guaugzhou some of whom are traders, businessmen, fortune seekers and artisans”

Mbisiogu reminded President Jonathan that Nigerians in China, first made this appeal 10 years ago through the former President of Nigerian Union in China, Pastor Basil Ukaere to the former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003, but unfortunately that government could not do anything to alleviate their sufferings.

The Industrialist and Chairman of Shanghai Engineering Construction Nigeria Limited,  said Nigerians did not deserve to go through pains to perfect their documents, especially in Guangzhou province which is Chinese economic nerve centre where Nigerians have been contributing immensely to the Chinese economy.

He noted that establishing Nigerian Consulate in Guangzhou or moving the one in Shanghai from its current location to Guangzhou would boost economic ties between the two countries.

 

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