Members of the House of Representatives have resolved to investigate the legality of Chinese nationals living in Nigeria for possible repatriation back to their country.
They made the resolution on Tuesday at a resumed plenary following their return from recess which lasted about five weeks as a result of the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.
This followed the poor treatment of Nigerians in China, especially those living in Guangzhou city in the Asian country.
During the plenary presided over by the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, the lawmakers considered a motion on the “Maltreatment and Institutional Acts of Racial Discrimination against Nigerians Living in China by the Government of China”.
The lawmakers mandated the House Committees on Interior, Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring, as well as Commerce, to take up the assignment.
The committees were asked to investigate the Nigeria Immigration Service, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Nigerian Content and Development Monitoring Board, and any other relevant Ministry, Department or Agency (MDA), to check the validity of all immigration documents of every Chinese national in Nigeria.
The House also directed the committees to probe the expatriate quota of all the Chinese businesses in Nigeria to ascertain the number of illegal and undocumented immigrants in the country and ensure they were repatriated to China to regularise.
According to the lawmakers, this will be in collaboration with the Immigration, Nigeria Customs Service, the CAC, and relevant MDAs.
They also resolved to urge the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all relevant MDAs to ensure that all categories of Nigerians who wish to return home were evacuated from China and quarantined upon arrival.
The lawmakers urged the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and all relevant MDAs to provide necessary financial and other assistance to affected Nigerians who wish to seek redress in any local or international court for breach of fundamental rights, loss of property or any other actionable cause occasioned by their maltreatment or discrimination in China.
Similarly, they asked the Committees on Inter-Parliamentary Relations, Foreign Affairs, Human Rights and Diaspora, to ascertain the extent of violation of rights of Nigerians in China, as well as losses arising from such maltreatments.
The House asked the committees to further engage the Chinese Parliament appropriately to state Nigeria’s National Assembly condemnation of the discrimination against Nigerians and to ensure the cessation of such actions by its people and government.
The lawmakers with the various responsibilities were asked to report back within two weeks for further legislative action.
The House, however, sought the concurrence of the Senate on the motion.
The motion was sponsored by 10 lawmakers – Benjamin Kalu, Yusuf Buba, John Dyegh, Babajimi Benson, Tunji Olawuyi, Zakari Galadima, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Nnoli Nnaji, Dennis Idahosa, and Tolu Shadipe.