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20th December, 2013.

FG TO EMBASSIES: STOP COLLECTING VISA FEES IN FOREIGN CURRENCIES

The minister of foreign affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri has warned embassies and other diplomatic missions in Nigeria to stop collecting visa fees from Nigerians in foreign currency.

Onwuliri who gave the warning yesterday in Abuja while briefing the members of the diplomatic corps on the One-day Summit Level Conference with the theme; "Human Security, Peace and Development", noted that it is against diplomatic laws for embassies to charge visa fees in any currency other than that of their host countries

"It has come to our notice that some consular and other diplomatic missions in Nigeria now charge visa and other consular fees in foreign currencies.

I just want to let you know that this is totally unacceptable and must henceforth stop," she warned.

According to the minister, "Charging visa fees in foreign currencies is an illegal act that clearly violates the sovereignty of this great nation, Federal Republic of Nigeria."

Onwuliri stressed that no sovereign nation would accept such practice under any circumstances.

However, she appealed to the diplomats to refrain from any act that will cast blight on the cordial bilateral relations existing between their countries and Nigeria.

"Therefore, we appeal to you to ensure that you do not violate any part of the law and that you work with us in trying to cement our probity," she said.

Sources have revealed that British High Commission and some other embassies in the country announced recently that they would be charging visa fees in foreign currencies.

Speaking on the theme of the upcoming conference, Onwuliri called on the envoys to re-dedicate themselves to promoting peace in the country and across the globe.

"It is also essential for us to rededicate ourselves to the task of promoting peace at national, regional and international level," she added.

Source: Leadership

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