The Consul General of Nigeria in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province of China, Mr. Wale Oloko has called on the Nigerians in China to remain law abiding and shun acts that would have negative impact on the image of Nigeria.
Mr Oloko made the call at a town hall meeting with the Nigerian Community in Guangdong province.
The Consul General addressed issues of residence permits renewal and renewal of business premises’ permits.
He noted that other issues brought to the Consulate by the Nigerian community include:
- Obligation by those residing illegally in China to pay a penalty of RMB10, 000 ($1500), a return ticket as well as other fines before they can exit the country, thus pushing them underground.
- Reduction in the number of nationals working for Nigerian-owned companies from 3 to 1.
- Difficulty in securing invitations to clients and business partners visiting China.
- Refusal of hotel accommodation in some locations in Guangzhou to holders of Nigerian Passports.
- Recurring, and sometimes violent, targeted checks inside as well as outside places of residence.
- Recurring propensity to formally prohibit Africans, including Nigerians from living in buildings located in specific zones of the city of Guangzhou which prevent any attempt at integration, thus limiting their freedom of movement. Moreover, the local authorities are discouraging private landlords from renting accommodation to Africans.
- Inexplicable difficulties encountered during some administrative formalities at various local security offices.
- Suspension of banking operations/accounts of Nigerians without explanation with disastrous consequences for their businesses.
The Consul General however expressed happiness at the steps taken to resolve some of the issues raised adding that he was optimistic that other issues would be resolved soon.
He promised to continue to dialogue with the authorities in the consular jurisdiction in order to protect their interest and urged the community to bring their worries to the attention of the consulate and not wait until it was too late.
He urged them to be good ambassadors of Nigeria as their actions will affect the way the Chinese authorities and people see Nigeria and her citizens.
He advised the community to avoid criminal activities that will put them in jail as that would further compound the consular problems the Mission is currently faced with. According to him, “the Mission visits Nigerian prisoners regularly to ascertain their welfare and give moral support, while using the opportunity to deliver messages from their relatives in Nigeria and vice versa”.
Earlier, the President of the association of Nigerian Community in China, Mr. Obinna Roberts recalled the various efforts of the Consulate General to bring the Nigerian community under one umbrella to cater for the welfare of the community.
He acknowledged raising the issues the CG discussed with the authorities and urged the community to endeavour to bring their concerns to the attention of the community leaders.
Mr. Roberts encouraged the members of the Nigerian community to respect Chinese laws and shun vices that are detrimental to the good order of the community.
He admitted that some members of the community are on the other side of the law and urged them to retrace their steps before it is too late as the Chinese authorities have zero tolerance for criminal activities, especially drug trafficking.
After answering some of the questions asked by the members at the interactive session that followed the speeches, the CG in his concluding remarks appealed to the community to eschew bitterness and work together to build a virile Nigerian community.
He promised to make the town hall meeting a regular occurrence and urged them to reciprocate by continuing to be of good behaviour and assured of the Mission’s support at all times.