Port Harcourt -The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service(NIS), Mr Martin Abeshi, on Tuesday urged Nigerians living in South Africa to be law abiding and avoid acts capable of tarnishing the image of the country.
A statement issued by the Nigeria Union in South Africa quoted Abeshi as making the call while inaugurating the Online Integrated Solution Services (OIS) centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.
OIS is a consultancy firm which processes visa applications and registers Nigerians for the Bank Verification Number(BVN).
The statement, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt, also quoted Abeshi as saying that President Muhammadu Buhari has zero tolerance for corruption, adding that all Nigerians must support him to succeed.
Abeshi, according to the statement, said the challenges faced by Nigerians, especially on renewal of passports, would be given adequate attention by government.
“ I want to assure you that during my tenure, focus will be on South Africa.
“ Your problems are well known to me and we have started addressing some of them before this visit.
“I will take this message to government.
“ The request by your president is well taken and it will be tabled before the Immigration, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ministry of Interior and the Presidency,’’ Abeshi was quoted as saying.
Abeshi, the statement added, gave an assurance that the issues raised by the Nigeria Union would be conveyed to the Presidency with a view to tackling them.
Nigeria`s Consul General to South Africa, Amb. Uche Ajulu Okeke, commended the Nigeria Immigration Service for approving the visa processing centre in Johannesburg.
The statement quoted her as saying that the centre had made it possible for government to derive revenue directly from fees paid by visa applicants.
“ The Consulate staff and Nigeria Union are working as a family.
“ Staff of the Consulate travel to different provinces in South Africa and some Southern African countries to assist Nigerians in BVN registration and renewing of their passports,“ she said.
The President of Nigeria Union, Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, urged Abeshi to close the Immigration Section at the High Commission in Pretoria.
The statement quoted Anyene as saying that the resources being deployed to run the section should be used to open new OIS centres outside Johannesburg.
Anyene said the Union and Consulate General in Johannesburg had partnered to improve service delivery to Nigerians in distant provinces and neighbouring countries in the region.
He also said the union inaugurated a news magazine to promote Nigeria’s image while also evolving an identity card for Nigerians living in that country. (NAN)