Nigerian ambassador to Qatar Shuaibu Adamu Ahmed yesterday voiced concern over an increasing incidence of “misbehaviour” among some Nigerian expatriates.
“They are not only spoiling the reputation of other Nigerians but also the good name of their fatherland,” the envoy told Gulf Times.
He was reacting to a recent incident involving a Nigerian who stabbed his compatriot roommate several times over a minor dispute.
“In the past, Nigerian expatriates in Qatar were rated very high because majority were well-behaved and of good character but these qualities seemed to be disappearing nowadays.”
Ambassador Ahmed stressed that his advice to many Nigerians he usually encountered around the city had always been to behave well.
“It is becoming very worrisome to see some Nigerians of very questionable characters here these days and it is also saddening that many of them are oblivious that it’s not just their name which is at stake but also the image of Nigeria as a whole,” the envoy lamented.
Ambassador Ahmed urged Nigerians to desist from bringing issues of disputes between them and their employers or sponsors to the embassy.
“We are seeing a few cases of Nigerians coming to ask us to intercede on their behalf with their sponsors. We have tried, within our own means, to help some of them, but I would like to reiterate that there is a limit to which the embassy can go in such instances,” he maintained.
While emphasising that the embassy was established to serve the community, the ambassador said that the mission did not provide legal services.
“We are here to attend to every consular issues that Nigerians here may have but when it comes to issues concerning sponsors and employment disputes, the embassy does not have much power to intercede,” he clarified.
The official recalled that the embassy had in the past helped a group of Nigerians who were faced with deportation after their sponsor found out that they did not meet the requirements for his job.
“We had to plead with the sponsor not to cancel their visas and asked him to allow us some time to help them find a new sponsor and we were very fortunate to find one very quickly, thus saving them from going back home,” he explained.
To a query on whether Nigerians can now freely obtain an emergency travel document (ETC) from the embassy, he said: “There is no problem regarding this any more as we are seeing many Nigerians here on a daily basis with the required documents to apply for the ETC.”
ETC is issued by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to citizens who lose their passport while abroad or need to renew their expired travel document in Nigeria.
According to information on the NIS website, the requirements for issuing the certificate include a proof of citizenship, police report and return ticket to Nigeria.
ETC is usually valid for only one journey to Nigeria and must be surrendered to the immigration authorities at the port of entry.
Meanwhile, ambassador Ahmed reaffirmed plans by the embassy to visit the Deportation Camp as soon as possible.
“We have plans to visit the Deportation camp and see Nigerians in detention and see what intervention we need to carry out on their behalf, if need be.”
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