The Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu has declared that despite recent deportation and alleged maltreatment of some Nigerians in foreign countries, the Senate cannot stop any Nigerian from traveling abroad.
Sunmonu, who represents Oyo Central in the National Assembly, however, noted that what the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs which she heads could do was to educate and advise any Nigerian travelling abroad to understand the nature and abide by the laws, conditions and culture of the country they were going.
The former Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly spoke in an interview with journalists in Oyo on Sunday where she revealed that one of the bills she introduced on treatment of gunshot victims without police reports has been helping the relevant agencies in their investigations.
She said “We cannot stop anyone from travelling. What we can do is to educate them, we can advise our people. Our committee cannot stop anyone from travelling.
“What we are doing is that our government representatives have been asked to look after them when they travel. But anyone who has been given a visa, has met the requirements. So, we cannot stop them from giving them visas.
“What you just asked, we have meet those countries that they should stop attacking our people. And if you look at it, it is reducing, I am not saying that it has stopped, but it has reduced. Those in our missions have been told to look after our people abroad. But what we are also doing is to encourage Nigerians not to loose hope in Nigeria.
“People are not employed, some people sell all what they have to send their children to school, so what I am advising is that things will soon be better and my prayer is that may God give us long life to witness the positive change.
“Before you can travel to any country in the world, you have to obtain their visa and in obtaining visa, there are requirements and also when you get to countries you are visiting, there are conditions in those countries, so if you are caught, that means you are violating, that means you have not complied, they will arrest and take you back.
“There are rules for employment visa all over, but if you breach the conditions, if you visit that country, when you engage in criminal activities, then you will be arrested and jailed.”
Sunmonu while speaking on steps by the present government to close some missions abroad, noted that the step was being taken in order to restructure and rebrand Nigeria’s foreign missions for effectiveness and efficiency.