6th September, 2012
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Olugbenga Ashiru, on Thursday summoned the management of VFS Global, a visa service company, over the poor treatment meted on applicants.
The Indian-owned company processes visa applications to the UK and to some Schengen member nations.
According to a statement by the ministry’s spokesman, Mr Ogbole Ode, in Abuja, the minister expressed concern over the poor conditions, which applicants were subjected to during the visa submission and collection process.
“Reports indicate that those who have ₦10,000 receive VIP treatment, while the rest are left to wallow in the sun.
“It is unacceptable to have our citizens, queue in rain and be subjected to inconveniences,’’ it stated.
It urged the company to provide suitable accommodation for applicants in view of its role as consultant to various embassies.
Responding, Ms Natasha Bhargava, the Senior Manager of VFS Global in Abuja, expressed the firm’s commitment to provide improved services to clients, noting, however, that the VIP facility was optional.
Bhargava, who led a team of five officials to the ministry, said that suggestion boxes were available at the company’s Abuja and Lagos offices for applicants to register their complaints.