The Canadian government unfairly denies a lot of Nigerians, including students, visas.
This was disclosed by Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Canada, Amb. Adeyinka Asekun, during a webinar on Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary by the mission on Thursday.
According to Asekun, he 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.
He said, “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 added that many Nigerians were eager to study in Canada, but were denied the opportunity, and that he hoped the situation would change when the agreement came into effect.
Though, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Rob Oliphant, did not give the reasons Nigerians are unfairly denied visas,disclosed that his country was host to no fewer than 11,000 Nigerian students.
Oliphant also highlighted the strong relationship between Nigeria and Canada.
He said: “The strong relationship between Canada and Nigeria is built on deep people-to-people ties. Over 50,000 Canadians have Nigerian roots, some of them are my very good personal friends, and today over 11,000 Nigerian students are pursuing their studies in Canada. They enrich Canadian universities. Of course they benefit from Canadian universities, but the benefit they bring to Canada is equal and extremely important. Limited air travel does not weaken these important personal ties. In fact, it keeps us keenly looking forward to even more connection and reconnection. On that note, let me again offer my personal heartfelt congratulations.
On behalf of the government of Canada, the Parliamentary Secretary wished Nigeria and its people a very happy 60th anniversary of independence.