Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Nigerians Deportation: FG Goes After South African Firms

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The diplomatic row between Nigeria and South Africa deepened on Tuesday with the Federal Government planning tougher measures against South African companies operating in the country.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Gbenga Ashiru told the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs yesterday that Nigeria was ready to reciprocate in like manner any country that does not treat her citizens with dignity.

He said one of such measures was the deportation of 28 South Africans over immigration irregularities, which would have been overlooked.
“There are many ways, I don’t want to open the options here but we will be doing it in a calculated way. The first one like I announced here was done last night when 28 South Africans were deported for immigration irregularities.

“The way you treat me is the way I will treat you. If you treat my people with dignity, I will treat your people with dignity. If you treat our own people anyhow, we will do the same thing to you. And that is why I said they don’t have the monopoly of deporting travellers and there are many ways we can hit at them.

“I have already announced that companies here, I don’t want to mention their names, they are making more profit in Nigeria than in South Africa and yet they take our own generosity for granted. I will not allow that to continue. Some of them bring in half-baked graduates to come and take the position of our own citizens in this country.

“We will look into that because I have been telling our own people to watch the people they grant visa because, at times, they will come in as visitors only to put them in management positions in some of their companies.
“We are going to look into all these and make sure that we put things right. I can assure you distinguished senators that Nigeria will react in a mature and calculated way to this assault on our people. I call it assault on our people. We will not allow it to go without it being reciprocated. We are going to do it in a calculated way to target and deliberately show that we mean business and that when you ill-treat Nigerians we will hit back at you.
Ashiru noted that presentation of fake yellow fever cards was not enough excuse to deport the 100 Nigerians.
“As I have said, the normal practice internationally is that even if you forget your card, they will quarantine you, give you an injection and they will ask you to go in not to deport you. That is why I personally, am totally shocked at the behaviour of the South African government.”

Earlier, Committee Chairman, Senator Matthew Nwagwu, had directed the minister to use the opportunity of the present diplomatic row between the two countries to resolve differences with South Africa.Sources: Daily Sun.

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