Ohanaeze Happy With UK for Setting Up S’East Visa Centre in Enugu

By Jude Atupulazi

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has expressed appreciation to the British High Commission and the Government of the United Kingdom for granting the request by its President General, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, for the establishment of a Visa Office in Enugu, the headquarters of the South-East of Nigeria.

In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the Organisation, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, he recalled that the request for a visa office in Enugu was made during the courtesy visit of the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Richard Montgomery, at the National Secretariat of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Enugu on June 27, 2023.

‘After the kolanut ceremony, the Igbo Leader emphasised that the South-East zone accounted for over 60 per cent of Nigerians traveling to the United Kingdom on a daily basis.

‘He therefore wondered the rationale and the unfairness of subjecting the Igbo to the inconvenience of traveling to Abuja or Lagos to obtain their UK visas.

‘Ahaejiagamba seized the occasion to highlight the longstanding relationship between the South-East of Nigeria and the United Kingdom, which, he said, spanned religion, education and culture; citing the role of the Church Missionary Society (CMS), a Scottish religious body that arrived Onitsha for evangelism in 1857.

Iwuanyanwu reminded the High Commissioner that there was a British Council in Enugu and expressed surprise that the Office was closed without sufficient reason.

He assured the High Commissioner that a Visa Office in Enugu would promote bilateral collaborations that would enhance the growth and sustainable development of the Southeast Region’s economy.

The Ohanaeze Chief Scribe said the President General could not withhold his joy when he learnt that the British High Commission in Nigeria had announced the opening of a new temporary submission centre for UK visas in Enugu State, beginning on 13 September 2023.

According to him: ‘The UK diplomatic office disclosed in a statement on Monday that the facility will operate out of the Omedel Luxury Hotel, 4/6 Link Road, off Pascal and Jerk Bus Stop, Independence Layout, Enugu, and that it will offer twice-a-week services in the interim.’

He said: ‘Ahaejiagamba urges the people of the South-East to avail themselves of the opportunities the Visa Office has provided, adding that the current global dynamics calls for consistent exchange of values between the UK and Nigerians.’