The Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, Europe, Italy Chapter, says about 1.5 million out of its three million registered members in Italy are affected by scarcity of Nigerian passports.
The chapter’s Chairman, Mr George Omo-Iduhon, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday.
NAN quoted Omo-Iduhon as saying that there are more Nigerians in Italy than in other European countries and the registered Nigerians according to database are three million, apart from the undocumented ones.
He said, “One of the major problems being faced by Nigerians living in Italy is shortage of Nigerian passports that can help facilitate their movement and work permit.
“The Nigerian government should help address this problem because Italy serves as the gateway to other countries in Europe, especially for Nigerians.
“About 1.5 million Nigerians in Italy don’t have passports, even some of those that have been accepted by the Italian government have not been issued Nigerian passports which makes it difficult for them to work.”
Omo-Iduhon said the supply of 500 booklets of passport to the Nigerian Embassy in Italy was grossly inadequate to serve the number of Nigerians resident in Italy.
“Using the same sharing formula for all the counties in Europe cannot work in Italy where we have more Nigerians.
“We are appealing to the relevant government agencies and the Minister for Internal Affairs, Rauf Aregbesola, to help us address this issue,” he said.
He said the organisation was committed to growing Nigeria’s economy, adding that members must try their best to return home to build Nigeria.