In the wake of renewed attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, a six-member committee of the Nigerian House of Representatives visited South Africa on March 13.
The committee’s mandate was to engage the South African parliament over attacks on Nigerians so that both countries could recommend urgent legislative interventions.
The committee, chaired by the Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, includes the chairman, House Committee on Foreign Relations, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje; Shehu Aliyu-Musa; Nasiru Zangon-Daura; Sadiq Ibrahim; and Henry Nwawuba.
THE House of Representatives recommended, among others, the creation of job opportunities and “massive infrastructure” in the country to discourage Nigerians from going abroad to seek greener pastures. A report of its ad hoc committee also called for the passing of hate crime laws by South Africa and Nigeria as part of measures to contain the rising cases of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa.
The two parliaments discussed the issue of payment of compensations for Nigerians, who had been victims of xenophobic attacks.
On how to criminalise such attacks, the parties agreed to “evolves legislative instruments such as hate crime laws to promote tenets of solidarity, support and protection for Nigerians living in (The Diaspora) towards finding lasting solutions to the crisis in South Africa and other similar cases.”
The House directed “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigerian consulate in South Africa to work together with their South African counterparts, where expedient, in helping to quickly resolve matters regarding passports as well as regularising migrant status of Nigerians, particularly those with South African spouses.”
The House also urged the government of Nigeria to domesticate the African Union Migration Agreement as it relates to relationship between Nigeria and South Africa
A report produced by the committee was adopted by the House in plenary in Abuja on April 17.