FastNews reports that due to a scarcity of passport machines at the Nigerian Embassy in Qatar, some Nigerians have been unable to continue their lives in Qatar.
Victor Ikoli, the former President of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) in Qatar, has expressed his dissatisfaction with the lack of passport machines at the Nigerian Embassy in Qatar and the difficulties it creates for Nigerians traveling.
According to local media, Ikoli stated that the “challenges of renewal and acquisition of passports” encountered by the Nigerian diaspora in Qatar are an urgent problem and that the Nigerian Federal Government should intervene.
The difficult situation is especially concerning as some employers sponsoring the Nigerian nationals are unable to help when their travel documents expire.
Ikoli stated that “the most pressing issue throughout my four-year tenure in office was the renewal and issuance of Nigerian passports.”
He thanked the Nigerian Embassy for issuing approximately 1,500 passport applications for renewal including first-time applicants amongst which were newborns.
“However, over 130 passports were yet to be issued, thereby exposing the individuals to job termination and deportation if their residence cards were invalid, and possibly bank account closure among others,” he added.
Many individuals have lost their jobs due to a delay in processing their passports. “I was personally involved in two significant cases, [where] one was terminated and his resident card could not be renewed by his company, because his passport had expired,” Ikoli noted.
In some cases, the embassy would issue support letters to be used as a backup document to be presented to the Qatari immigration office.
He further added that Nigerians, at times, we’re unable to renew their residency cards, despite multiple appeals.
A Nigerian woman, who had moved to the United Kingdom was unable to travel with her two children and husband because her husband’s passport was not yet ready,” Ikoli explained.
Adding, “she now has to prove sole custodian of the children, because their father is unable to travel at this time.”