VARIOUS narratives about Nigerians resident in different countries abroad show how individuals are constantly subjected to various levels of inhuman treatment while in pursuit of existence. Little wonder some Nigerians are of the opinion that it is time Nigerians in Diaspora began dreaming of actualizing decent lives back in Nigeria.
Recalling some of the awful experiences that a large number of Nigerians, who run businesses in the commercial city of the Republic of China (Guangzhou) go through on daily basis, Tony (other names withheld for security reasons) a China-Nigeria business tycoon stated, “as a matter of fact, on daily basis, Nigerians, particularly men are actually in deep sadness and regret over the continuous unfair treatment they receive from the Chinese.
“As a businessman/investor in China, I believe that Nigerian businessmen in China are undeserving of some of the regulations which are unfavourable to our trade relations with the Chinese government.” It has also been discovered that China refuses to extend the visas of Nigerians in their country for business and this to a “large extent, cripples our business ventures which is a situation that deserves dialogue between Nigerian ambassador to China and Chinese visa regulating authorities,” Tony said.
Issues of unscrupulous Nigerians: Taking Nigerian nationals as a case study, Tony noted that though there are some unscrupulous Africans residing in China who are causing problems for the serious and well focused Nigerians in China, it is not enough to place Nigerians under such ridicule which should only be associated with nefarious activities.
Nigerians detained in Chinese prisons: A China based Nigerian based university official via telephone conversation with Vanguard Consular Advisory also disclosed that there are over 300 Nigerians in Guangzhou prison on detention due to the expiration of their visa and is bewildered to affirm that the Nigerian embassy is not interfering in a case as minor as getting the Chinese government to extend her national visa where necessary.
“Why is the embassy of Nigeria in China not showing any concern about the welfare of their citizen or is there any political undertone here? For God sake, there should be a positive action towards understanding the importance of one Nigerian citizen in any foreign country. We should not be treated like sheep without a shepherd, after all Nigeria is not worse than China in terms of corruption”
In furtherance to his narratives, he lamented about the unfair treatment he received from an immigration officer in one of his trips to Europe, not withstanding the positive contributions the teeming population of Nigerians make to the economy of these countries they reside in.
“I just came back from a trip within Europe and as usual, Immigrations spent more time with me when they saw my Nigeria passport. Imagine having to go through series of questionings from immigrations even on arrival from a domestic flight within that country just because I am a Nigerian.
How demeaning. I vividly remember the times when the arrival of a Nigerian to a country like China for instance, is being celebrated, he explained, adding that “ If you take away Nigerians living in Guangzhou, China, it will have a negative effect on the Chinese economy which would take a long time to reverse.”
Searching for greener pastures which may not be greener on the other side, is worth the while, but intending travellers must be wise in their decision about leaving Nigeria in pursuit of such greener pastures.
Responding to the issue of wanting to leave Nigeria at all cost, Tony said: “Advancing to China for business related matters is tempting but at the same time can mean putting one’s life at risk because you want to leave Nigeria at all cost. I always wonder at times if we actually think before embarking on such trips because the money invested in procuring the necessary documents.”