FOREIGN minister Gbenga Ashiru has reiterated that his ministry will not shy away from its responsibility of looking after the diaspora and protecting Nigerians living abroad whenever necessary.
Speaking in the wake of Saudi Arabia’s recent decision not to allow some Nigerian women perform this year’s Hajj, Mr Ashiru made it clear that Nigerian embassies and high commissions have the task of caring for Nigerians living in other countries. However, he pointed out the importance of Nigerians respecting the laws of host countries.
The UK is home to the largest number of Nigerians outside Nigeria, with unofficial figures estimating that the diaspora community here totals as much as two million. Nigeria’s high commission in London is the largest in the world and employs the highest number of staff of any mission.
Mr Ashiru added: “Part of our policy trust is fair and decent treatment of Nigerians wherever they may be. We did make a pronouncement on it in our inaugural outing with principal envoys accredited to Nigeria.
“We will continue to insist that Nigerians be accorded respect and treated with dignity. Our charge to the ambassadors and high commissions is that the welfare of Nigerians in diaspora must be taken seriously but as we strive to protect and promote the interests of our compatriots abroad, we also reiterate to them the imperative to be law abiding in their places of abode.”