Some Nigerians residing in India have appealed to the Indian government to review its visa policy for students and businessmen to facilitate trade and education for foreigners.
Some of the residents, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Delhi on Tuesday, described as frustrating the stress of reviewing their visas every six months or one year.
They also want the Indian government to issue missionary visa and work permit for Nigerians who get the opportunity to work in the country.
Emmanuel Osisiogu, a businessman trading on industrial materials, said he had been doing business in the country for 10 years.
“I have been on and off in India for the past 10 years because once your visa expires, you have to travel to Nigeria again to review it and it is not easy to get it.
“In the long run, they either give six months or one year visa.
“So, I am appealing to them to review the visa policy to give longer time for those doing business in the country,” he said.
Similarly, a businesswoman, who preferred not to be named, India was a good place to do business but the visa policy was making it cumbersome.
She said the visa policy of three months should be reviewed to a longer period to reap the fruit of doing business in the country.
In the same vein, a Masters graduate at the Maharshi Dayanand University, Samuel Edioh, said he was reviewing his visa every year for seven years throughout the period of study.
Mr Edioh, who is the Public Relations Officer of the All India Nigerian Students and Community Association (AINSCA), said the Indian government should also open employment opportunities for Nigerians.
“Also, industrial and entertainment sectors should be opened for Nigerians, we should be given equal opportunity to compete with Indians,’’ he said.
According to him, most Nigerians living in India are students, missionaries or businessmen because the country does not give jobs to foreigners.
He, however, commended the effort of the Nigerian High Commission in the country, saying “the High Commissioner operates open door policy and he is accommodating all Nigerians”.
Emmanuel Onuah, a missionary with the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministry, appealed to the Indian government to consider issuing missionary visa for ministers.
Mr Onuah said the issue of difficulties in visa had made many Nigerians go to neighbouring countries, adding that “Indian need to be extending stay for those who have genuine reason to stay.”
“There are a lot of Nigerians who are doing legitimate business here and they even employ some Indians. Why will the Indian government not consider giving those ones work permit?
“We (missionaries) are also contributing by giving back to the society by doing charity, visitation and also supporting the education sector in the country.
“For instance, we have six branches of our ministry in the country and we have built schools in some of those branches.’’
NAN reports that Nigeria’s High Commissioner to India, Chris Eze, had earlier appealed to the Indian government to reciprocate the issuance of work permits to Nigerians in the country.
According to him, the high commission issues an average of 500 work permits to Indians per month to work in Nigeria, saying “it will be nice if some kind of reciprocity is returned.’’(NAN)