Aminu Garba, chairman, board of trustees, Community Health and Research Initiative (CHR), has raised the alarm over the “dehumanising treatment” of Nigerians at the Indian high commission in Abuja.
According to Garba, Nigerians are treated without decency by the visa officers.
Recounting his own experience, Garba said he had an appointment for 10:15am on March 10 but was delayed until few minutes before 12 noon.
He said he had been invited by the center for health and social justice based in New Delhi, India, to participate in a two-day workshop.
After submitting all the necessary documents at the embassy, Garba said, the visa officer asked him to bring a cover letter from his bank as well as photocopies of all his degree certificates and professional qualifications.
He accused the officer of talking with a “degree of arrogance and contempt”.
Garba said many Nigerians were treated the same way and were kept under the sun throughout the duration of the waiting time.
As a “humble protest for the Indian high commission to start treating Nigerians with respect and human dignity”, Garba said he collected all his documents and cancelled his trip.
He called on the Indian high commissioner to institute a “customer care response box” as is obtainable in many embassies in Abuja.
“Review the exorbitant visa prices in line with the different visa categories. Train the visa officers on strategic interpersonal communication and counselling,” he said.
“Remove the tinted glass in the visa window and start treating Nigerians with decency. Respect appointment time as it is stated in the visa application forms.”