President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday, urged the Egyptian Ambassador in Nigeria, Assem Hanafi Elseify to make the process of getting the country’s visa less cumbersome for Nigerians.
He also called for a closer bilateral relationship between Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco.
Lawan according to a statement by his Special Adviser (Media) Ola Awoniyi, made the call at separate meetings with the Egyptian Ambassador in Nigeria, Assem Hanafi Elseify and also with the Moroccan Ambassador in Nigeria, Moha Ou Ali Tagma who paid him courtesy visits on Tuesday.
The President of the Senate made the appeal against the backdrop of numerous complaints received by his office from Nigerians who were denied visas by the Egyptian embassy.
“While we are not going to encourage that whoever does not qualify and applies for a visa be given, we believe that many Nigerians have legitimate reasons to apply for visas to go to Egypt.
“We need to intensify every possible effort to ensure we are able to address those issues that make this difficult,” Lawan said.
He, however, described Nigeria and Egypt as leading countries in Africa and noted that the two countries have had a very long relationship.
“Nigeria has been quite supportive of Egypt and Egypt has been supportive of Nigeria. We need to expand and widen this cooperation and partnership between our two countries,” Lawan said.
The Senate President said the parliamentary relationship between Egypt and Nigeria needs to be improved adding that “there is a need for the cooperation that we share between us as two major African countries to be well-grounded, established and sustained between our parliaments.”
He said Parliaments normally play very important and significant roles in ensuring that peoples in different countries are able to come together because they represent the people.
“Therefore we carry their sentiments. We carry their aspirations. We want the relationships that benefit the people that we represent on both sides.
“So I will encourage that we try to work out and promote better parliamentary relationship,” Lawan said.
Earlier, the Ambassador of Egypt, Assem Kanafy Elseify, said the purpose of his visit was to congratulate the leadership of the Senate following its emergence on June 11.
Elseify also conveyed the intention of the leadership of the Egyptian parliament to visit its counterpart at the Nigerian National Assembly.
According to him, the visit would afford the leaderships of both parliaments the opportunity of strengthening legislative ties in a bid to ensure the development of both countries.
Receiving the Moroccan Ambassador Moha Ou Ali Tagma, the Senate President said Nigeria and Morocco have many things that have brought them together.
He cited as examples the agreements on Fertilizer and gas pipeline projects which are underway and which will no doubt be beneficial to the two countries.
He said the National Assembly will play its part to support President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the projects are delivered.
Earlier, Ambassador Tagma said Nigeria and Morrocco stand to benefit mutually from each other in various sectors.
“Since the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Morroco in June 2018, we have developed a very strong and good relationship in may sectors.
“We hope to maintain this relationship because Nigeria and Morocco have much to share”, he said.