Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Canada, Ambassador Adeyinka Asekun, says the host country is unfairly denying a lot of Nigerians visas, including students.
Asekun stated this during a webinar on Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary organised by the mission on Thursday evening.
He expressed the hope that the issue would be addressed in the draft bilateral agreement, which both countries have been working on, for better treatment of Nigerians in that regard.
“Canada and Nigeria have for some time been working on a draft agreement that addresses a number of areas of mutual concern to both countries.
“It is our further hope that a video conference call may be set up next spring latest to finalise the terms of this agreement.
“What is most important about this agreement is that it is likely to address a situation in which a lot of Nigerian citizens are being denied visas when they should actually have been granted the visas.
“We are looking for a situation in which the process will become much fairer and much more predictable.
“And there are provisions in this agreement which will make it possible for us to get much better treatment,” he said.
The envoy said many Nigerians were eager to study in Canada but were denied the opportunity, adding that he hoped the situation would change when the agreement came into effect.
However, Asekun said Nigeria and Canada have shared long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships in various areas since the former’s Independence in 1960.
He acknowledged the Canadian government’s assistance to Nigeria, including its contribution to the establishment of a laboratory in Lagos in 2014 for effective management of infectious disease following the Ebola outbreak.
The facility, according to him, has greatly helped Nigeria in the management and containment of COVID-19.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Rob Oliphant, said his country was host to no fewer than 11,000 Nigerian students.
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