The Nigeria Ambassador to Sri Lanka, F. A. Rotimi revealed the pending problems Nigerians are facing in Sri Lanka.
According to his discussion with Naija Center correspondent, Nigerians are arrested for various reasons among which are visa overstay, drugs, scam and many more.
When asked about his intention to the Nigerians in a deportation camp, he said, the Nigerian government is not responsible for the airfare for Nigerians arrested for overstay.
He also cleared the problem of a Nigerian girl who was arrested despite his slipped from the immigration officer. Esther (not real name) has been in a deportation camp for more than four months.
Responding to the issue, The Ambassador showed our journalist a written letter sent to Sri Lankan government requesting Esther’s permission to stay as the problem was caused by the immigration officer who refused to look at the slip as at the time of her arrest.
Esther was arrested along the street after she submitted her document to the immigration officer for visa renewal. She said she tendered the temporary paper given to her by the immigration to the officers, but yielded no result even as it was still valid.
The Ambassador went further to explain about a Nigerian couple who was arrested of narcotics, the woman, he said, had a 2-years old baby. Sequel to that, and coupled with the fact that she was not charged with anything, She was later deported while her husband was remanded in prison for trial.
He disclosed that two other Nigerians were arrested for credit card fraud late last year for withdrawing a huge amount from one ATM machine to another. According to Mr. Rotmiti, their action baffles him as he could not explain how they could break through the machine to squeeze out whatever amount they want.
He advises Nigerians to behave well wherever they are. According to him, to apply for Sri Lanka visa, it is made easy by applying online and visa issued on arrival. He revealed that due to violation and abuses by Nigerians, the government is planning to change the electronics system to a manual processing type since a Sri Lankan embassy will be opened in Nigeria from now till 2 months.
He added that Nigerians in deportation camp should contact their friends and relatives in order for them to raise money for their ticket as government can’t be responsible for such expenses. In his discussion, he pledged to give the Nigerians traveling certificate to enable them fly back
In case you dont know.
In furtherance of bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Nigeria, the Government of Nigeria opened its Resident Mission in Colombo. The very first Nigerian High Commissioner resident in Colombo, Femi Akenson Rotimi presented his credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the 14th September 2012.