Qatar to review visa restriction on Nigerians after Saraki appeal
London, April 7, 2019 (AltAfrica)-The Qatari government has promised to review with a view to ending the current visa restriction on Nigerians
This follows appeal by Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki who met with the leadership of the Middle East country at the weekend.
Saraki who led a National Assembly delegation to the 140th General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Doha, told the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani during a meeting that the visa ban was negatively affecting Nigerians as well as preventing the two countries from exploring areas of mutual benefits
.“I want to make an appeal that the visa restrictions placed on Nigerians be lifted. Nigerians are good people and we travel a lot.“This restriction is not good for both countries and I urge you to reconsider your position on that. The world needs to see the good things you are doing here and lifting your visa ban on Nigerians will encourage more people to come here and enjoy your beautiful country,” Saraki said.
While calling for more collaboration between the two countries, especially at the parliamentary level, the outgoing senate president lauded the leadership resilience of the Qatari government.
He said there was the need to set up a a legal framework to enable skilled workers and professionals in Nigerians to legally gain employment in Qatar.“I want to commend your fighting spirit in standing up for your rights. You have demonstrated that you mean well for your people and what you have done is worth emulating.
“That said, I think both countries (Nigeria and Qatar) need to strengthen their ties, especially our parliaments. We need to collaborate to achieve many things together. The collaboration will be good for the two countries and for our people.“In the area of sports, we need to do more together. Nigeria is a sport loving country. We have talented people in various parts of the world, including Qatar, doing great things in sports. If we collaborate, we will be able to develop that sector too,” he said.
Responding, Al-Thani promised to look into the visa restriction and ensure that it is resolved within the shortest time possible.
Earlier, Saraki held a bilateral meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament of Kenya, Mr Kenneth Lusaka, where both leaders called for more collaboration between the parliaments of the two countries.The Senate President also met with the President of the IPU, Ms Gabriela Cuevas Barron, who is expected to visit Nigeria before the expiration of the 8th National Assembly in June.