Tuesday, March 19, 2013

25 Nigerians Languishing In Vietnamese Prisons – Envoy

hoalo-prisonNo fewer than 25 Nigerians are currently languishing in various prisons in Vietnam, the Nigerian Ambassador to Vietnam, Mr Matthias Ojih-Okafor, has said.
Ojih-Okafor made the disclosure in Enugu on Tuesday at an interactive session, organised by the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) with the Enugu Business Community and Vietnamese delegation, attending the ongoing 24th Enugu International Trade Fair.
He listed some assistance the Nigerian Embassy in Vietnam had given to the prisoners as moral support through visits and financial assistance to both the victims and their families.
The ambassador said that the embassy was constrained by inadequate funds to assist Nigerians in various prisons in Vietnam.
He appealed to the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the National Assembly for increased allocation to the embassy to enable it render legal services to Nigerians in Vietnam prisons.
Ojih-Okafor warned Nigerians living in Vietnam not to engage in criminal activities like drug peddling for their safety in that country.
“When I resumed work as ambassador, I visited all Nigerians in Vietnam prisons. The first thing I did was to give them moral and financial support.
“We also ensured that we send a staff of the embassy to represent them at the court as well as provide financial support to the families of those incarcerated in prisons,’’ Ojih-Okafor said.
The Enugu State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Dr Jude Akubilo, pledged the commitment of the government to ensuring that Enugu became a food-exporting state.
“We will continue to partner with the Vietnamese, especially in agriculture. In Enugu State, we have over 5,000 hectares of land for rice farming.
“Enugu State will not only be sufficient in agriculture but will export 80 per cent of its agriculture produce by year 2020,’’ he said.
Earlier in a welcome address, the President of ECCIMA, Dr Theo Okonkwo, promised that the organisers of the trade fair would ensure that industrialists and foreign investors were accommodated in the development of the country.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industries (NASSI), in Enugu State, Chief Ben Njoku, implored the government of Vietnam to assist Nigerian farmers in finding lasting solution in the preservation of some farm produce.

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