House of Representatives on Thursday mandated its Committee on Foreign Affairs to liaise with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to review Nigeria's bilateral relations with South Africa.
This resolution emanated from a motion moved by Rep. Bimbo Daramola (ACN-Ekiti) which was unanimously adopted.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that on March 3, 125 Nigerians were deported by South Africa for alleged possession of fake yellow fever certificates, an incident which had generated diplomatic row between the two countries.
Leading the debate, Daramola noted that the issue of maltreatment of Nigerians in South Africa had become a perennial problem which seemed to have the endorsement of the South African government.
He said that the deportation issue was not an immigration problem alone but a wider government supported policy against Nigerians.
"If attention is restricted to immigration issues, we may inadvertently lose sight of other key issues and areas such as economic interests of Nigeria and Nigerians living in South Africa."
The legislator pointed that Nigerians who travel to South Africa for legitimate businesses never received warm reception in that country.
He maintained that adequate steps must be taken to address the ugly situation to prevent other countries from taking a cue.
Rep. Nkoyo Toyo (PDP-Cross River), however, called for caution since the matter was being handled diplomatically.
In her contribution, Rep. Nnenna Ukeje (PDP-Abia), the Chairman of House Committee on Foreign Affairs, briefed the House on the committee's meeting with the Minister on the issue.
She said the committee had an exhaustive discussion on the matter and was expecting the minister to give it feedback within two weeks. NAN