Nigeria has protested against the delay in the issuance of Canadian visa which takes a minimum of 45 working days to process.
Foreign Affairs Minister Olugbenga Ashiru, in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, described the delay as “unacceptable’’, and called for a review of the long wait period.
Ashiru, who had earlier summoned the Canadian High Commissioner Chris Cooter over the issue,also suggested the use of photocopied passport data page rather than holding applicant’s passport during the waiting period.
The minister said, “Rather than holding on to visa applicant’s passports, the Mission should make do with photocopies of the data pages and to sight the passports.
“Thereafter, the passports can be surrendered to the Mission only at the point of the issuance of visas.
“This will allow passport holders the opportunity to use their passports for other travels, pending the approval of their visa applications by the Canadian Mission.’’
The minister, who stressed the cordial relations between Nigeria and Canada, said the Bi-National Commission between the two countries had paved the way for a deepened relations, especially in the economic sector.
In his response, Cooter pledged to report the concerns expressed by Ashiru to the appropriate authorities in Ottawa.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Canada and Nigeria have maintained diplomatic relations for over 50 years and share a commitment to freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.