Mr George Omo-Iduhon, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE), Italy Chapter, said more than 1.5 million registered Nigerians urgently needed the Nigerian passport.
Omo-Iduhon stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Saturday while reflecting on the activities of NIDOE in Europe.
NAN reports that NIDOE is the European arm of a global Nigerian diaspora network, established in year 2000 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
NIDOE has its headquarters in London, where it serves 21 regional chapters.
Omo-Iduhon said that out of about three million Nigerians registered in Italy, 1.5 million of them needed passports, which had prevented them from returning home or getting jobs.
“One of the problems we are facing as Nigerians living in Italy is acute shortage of Nigerian passport. Most times, we go to the embassy to address the problem.
“What we normally get as response is the shortage of booklets and backlogs. The government should help to address this problem because Italy serves as the gateway to other countries in Europe, especially for Nigerians.
“Most Nigerians prefer to have their political asylum in Italy. In Italy, we have more Nigerians than we have in other European countries; the registered Nigerians according to database are three million aside the undocumented ones.
“About 1.5 million Nigerians in Italy don’t have passports, even some of those that have been accepted by Italian government have not been issued passport which makes it difficult for them to work,” he said.
The chairman said that the supply of 500 booklets of passport to the Nigerian embassy in Italy was grossly inadequate to serve the number of the citizens that needed it.