Nigerian High Commissioner to Cameroon Mme Hadiza Mustapha has called on the 4 million Nigerians in the country to “think big” and not continue complaining about the 120.000frs ($240) that they and all foreign nationals must pay every two years for a resident permit.
She admitted that discussions were ongoing between the government of both countries to see how the amount could be reduced. To make her compatriots, most of whom are business people understand the importance of the permit fees she said; “you should consider and treat the issue of resident permits as part and parcel of your business investments…I know how creative and hardworking you all are. You are bigger than the document called Resident Permit.”
Mme Hadiza made the resident permit plea during the Limbe lap of her meet the people tour to various parts of South Western Cameroon.
The extremely large Nigerian community in Cameroon has consistently complained the $240 fee they need to cough up every two years was too high and it was particularly annoying even children born in Cameroon had to pay the amount like their parents who immigrated to the country, some of them decades ago.
Nigerian Union president to Limbe Chief Donatus Odirichuku reminded the diplomat the resident permit problem has been rumbling for just too long and it was time the issue was resolved once and for all. Chief Collins Onyenlor of Bekumu also repeated the same plea, apparently to make Mme Hadiza understand their deep preoccupation with the resident permit wahala. Cameroonian security forces make regular swoops on Nigerian community members and arrests anybody who cannot prove they have a permit.
True to her call as a diplomat, Mme Hadiza reminded her compatriots that they were nationals of a country considered the giant of Africa
“Please, think big. Do not spend more time only looking at problems. Nigeria is a giant in Africa and showing leadership means that you should show a good example. Obey the laws before complaining; be good guests,” Hadiza advised.
She enjoined Nigerians to consider Cameroon as their home and start doing things that will be beneficial to their kindred in Cameroon.
“I want us to be beneficial migrants. This is your home. I want that when next I come, I should hear that you have built a school, hospital for your communities here,” she said.
She reminded Nigerian Union officials in Limbe to invest in youth development projects so they could grow up knowing the language and culture of their motherland.
Apart from running thriving businesses across Cameroon, Many Nigerians are also involved in agriculture and fish farming especially in the coastal areas like Limbe, Idenau and the Bakassi peninsula.
She also paid courtesy visits to Nigerians in Bamusso and Bekumu towns in Ndian division, South West of Cameroon. She promised to provide any necessary help her compatriots will need while she remains the highest ranked diplomat from Nigeria in Cameroon.
Earlier, Mme Hadiza made courtesy calls to South West Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai, SDO of Fako, Zang III, the Government Delegate to the Limbe City Council, Andrew Mojimba Motanga, the DO of Bamusso, Joseph Ndille, the Mayor of Bamusso, Emmanuel Njaba Nsangi and the Chief of Bamusso.
She was accompanied on her tour by the Nigerian Consul General to the Southwest and Northwest Regions HE Mohammed Akan , the President of the Nigerian Union in Cameroon, Andrew Essien, among others.
Is it right for Nigerians born in Cameroon to pay for residence permits? Are you a Nigerian living in Cameroon? Please leave your comments below