December 30, 2021

Embassy denies claim of 1.5m Nigerians in need of passports

Our land soaked in blood, gloom, South-East Bishops wail

The Nigerian Embassy in Rome, Italy,  has debunked claims by the Nigerians that of the three million registered Nigerians in Italy 1.5 million needed passports.

Recall that Mr. George Omo-Iduhon, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe, NIDOE, Italy Chapter, has on Saturday, said more than 1.5 million registered Nigerians urgently needed the Nigerian passport.

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Omo-Iduhon had said: “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 Embassy in a statement observed that it was not unaware of information circulating on the social media, in which a particular association of Nigerians in Italy, provided divergent information on the statistics of undocumented and documented Nigerians residing in the country among other issues. 

“The Embassy, remains the only body in the country that will be able to provide relevant figures on such issues through traditional diplomatic communications with the relevant host government authorities. Nigerian organisations are hereby advised to always cross-check with the Mission on such matters in the future, before making such statements.”

The statement points out that the figure of Nigerians resident in the country bandied in the publication as three million was a far cry from the official 113,049 figure by the Italian statistics agency ISTAT. 

“It is imperative to inform that the Federal Government is already responding to Missions’ appeal for the supply of a higher number of passport booklets. In December 2021, a sizeable consignment of passport booklets was made available to the Embassy.

“It advises Nigerians to use only legally recognised routes on international travel if they intend to visit Italy. Also, Nigerians visiting Italy for whatever reason are advised to register their presence with the Embassy and obtain their consular identification cards. 

“Ambassador Mfawa Abam, assures Nigerians in Italy that citizens diplomacy remains the main thrust of the Embassy. In view of the foregoing, no effort is being spared towards ensuring that all Nigerians in the country receive needed consular services,” the statement added.