Nigeria and Britain appear to be heading for a diplomatic row should that country’s government go ahead and impose a £3, 000 visa bond on visitors from Nigeria and five other Commonwealth countries as the Federal Government on Tuesday reiterated its intention to retaliate the action against British citizens.
In a statement issued in Abuja by the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ogbole Ode, the FG expressed dismay that the United Kingdom Government had not deemed it necessary to formally inform the Nigerian Government of its final decision on the controversial policy which has reportedly got a November kick-off date.
The statement reads, “Media reports in Nigeria on Monday, July 29, 2013, indicated that the United Kingdom Government will begin to implement from November, 2013, the £3,000 cash bond for first-time visa applicants from Nigeria, and five other Commonwealth countries.
“The other countries are India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. These media reports themselves were quoting the Financial Times of London.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to receive any official communication on the final decision of the UK government on this matter. The Federal Government has already conveyed its objection to the bond payment to the UK government. This was done when the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ashiru, summoned the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Andrew Pocock, to the Tafawa Balewa House, on June 25, 2013.
“If and when a communication to that effect is received, the Federal Government will take appropriate steps to reflect its national interest.”