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Diaspora group clear air on Nigerian passport issuance delay

By Esther Kalu

The National Union of Nigerian Associations in Italy, (NUNAI), has cleared air on claims that over 1.5 million Nigerians are yet to be issued their passports, saying the Federal Government is responding to its appeal for the supply of passport booklets to the Embassy in Italy.

NUNAI described the recent report about the non issuance of passport to Nigerians as a fallacy, adding that Nigerians living in Italy are not up to a million.

During an interview with reporters yesterday in Abuja, the Secretary of the union, Frank David, said it is however impossible for over one million Nigerians supposedly living in Italy to be stranded for lack of passport.

According to him, 180,000 out of the 209,000 Nigerians in Italy have been documented, leaving out 29,000 yet to be documented.

David stated that as much as NUNAI, the umbrella body of all Nigerian Associations in Italy will continue to appeal to the Federal Government for regular supply of booklets, they also appreciate the intervention so far.

“The publication by the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE) which claims that 1.5 million Nigerians in Italy are in need of passport booklets in Italy is a fallacy and we debunk such claims.

“The population of Nigerians in Italy is not up to one million. And on the issue of passport, yes there are requests for people who need to renew their passports or get fresh passports.

“But the mission has captured thousands of Nigerians who are having issues with passport in the past months and that is a great deal.

“There was an intervention about three months ago, especially in my own city, Modena, we were able to capture about 250 people, we went to another city called Pesaro and we were able to capture 138 people.

“We went to another city which I supervised and they were able to capture over 170 people. So, if you sum all these figures up you will get about a thousand.

“Be that as it may, there are other cities that need to be covered and that is not to say that they are up to a million. I stand to debunk that any day, any time.

“NUNAI as it were is the umbrella body of all Associations in Italy which NIDO should be part of, and NUNAI has been working with Embassies long before the existence of NIDO in Italy.” he said.

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