UK cancels controversial £3,000 (about N.75 million) “caution fee” for migrant Nigerians

Posted by News Express | 25 June 2013 | 5,314 times

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The United Kingdom has aborted its plan to place a £3,000 (about N.75 million) bond on Nigerians seeking entry to the country, it was reported this morning.

The money, a sort of “caution fee”, has evoked strong reactions by Nigerians since it was announced and was promptly rejected by the country’s lower parliament, the House of Representatives. A spokesman for Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Ministry was this morning quoted by the Abuja newspaper Daily Trust as revealing that the new charge has been withdrawn.

The Sunday Times of London had quoted UK Home Secretary Theresa May as saying that a pilot scheme that would target visitors from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Ghana would take off in November under which travellers from those countries would pay a cash deposit of £3,000 to deter immigration abuse. They will forfeit the money if they overstay their visas.

However, Daily Trust said that when contacted for comments yesterday, spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Abuja, Mr. Ode Ogbole, replied with text message saying: “It’s been rescinded.” The paper said Mr. Ogbole did not give further details and did not answer subsequent telephone calls.

It quoted another official of the ministry who chose to remain anonymous as disclosing that a message from the UK Government rescinding the plan had been sent to the Presidency.

Earlier yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister Olugbenga Ashiru told journalists at the ministerial platform commemorating the mid-term anniversary of the Jonathan administration that no official communication had been received from the British government by Nigeria on the subject.

He assured Nigerians of government’s readiness to defend and protect them all over the world but urged them to always conduct themselves in a manner that will portray Nigeria in good image.

•Photo shows Foreign Affairs Minister Gbenga Ashiru.

Source: News Express

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