As expected the UK High Commission in Nigeria is already feeling the heat following Theresa May’s proposal to impose a £3,000 financial bond on travellers from Nigeria, Ghana, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The Minister of Foreign Affairs met with the UK High Commission to categorically state that Nigeria will also retaliate in similar fashion. Part of the fallout of the meeting is the confirmation by the British High Commission (see below) that the policy was yet to be approved and that it will only affect a few people. Who this few people are and how they will be determined is currently unknown
In its own statement, the British High Commission reiterated that details of the policy were still being worked out. “No final decision has been made,” the Head of Press and Public Affairs Section, Rob Fitzpatrick said.
The commission said, “if the plan were to go ahead in Nigeria, it would affect only a very small number of the highest risk visitors.”
The statement added, “The vast majority would not be required to pay a bond. Those paying bonds would receive the bond back, if they abided by the terms of their visa.
“Let me put this in perspective. Over 180,000 Nigerians apply to visit the UK each year. About 70 per cent or around 125,000, of those applicants are successful. Travel between our two countries is a key part of our strong cultural and business relationship. Financial bonds would be focussed on only a tiny minority of potential abusers. It would not be a “£3,000 visa charge” as some media reporting has alleged.
“As soon as more details of the policy have been decided, we will inform the Nigerian government and public fully and officially, in the spirit of our long standing friendship, and our wish to help bona fide Nigerian visitors to work, study or do business in the UK.”
The British Government apparently understands this fact and expect similar retaliation from the Likes of India, who like Nigeria are the next frontier for Global Economic Growth. I personally do not see this policy seeing the light of day considering the current jostle for economic partnership with the likes of Nigeria and India. It may also threaten security cooperation between the UK and Pakistan which is seen as a pivotal state in the fight for global terrorism.
Article Credit, Punch: £3,000 visa bond: We will retaliate, FG warns British govt