China has evacuated 325 of its citizens from Nigeria via an Air Peace flight that was scheduled to depart at 10:05 pm on Thursday.
The plane was said to be headed for Shanghai.
France, the UK, and the US are among the countries that have also evacuated their nationals from Nigeria since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of Thursday evening, Nigeria had reported 8,915 cases of the novel coronavirus with 259 deaths.
However, the virus was first reported in China in December 2019 and the country has reported at least 82,000 cases with more than 4,000 deaths.
The House of Representatives has mandated its relevant Committees to probe concerned Ministries, Departments and Agencies to check the validity of all immigration documents of every Chinese citizen in Nigeria and the expatriate quota of all the Chinese businesses in Nigeria.
This is in order to ascertain the number of illegal and undocumented Chinese immigrants in the country and to return them to China.
The House of Reps urged the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all relevant Ministry Department Agencies to treat as a matter of urgency, the return of all Nigerians clamoring to return from China. The evacuees are to be quarantined upon arrival.
They further registered displeasure and condemned the maltreatment, discrimination and xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in China.
The House of Reps intimated that the committees are to ensure the cessation of such actions, and that treatments meted to Nigerians are compatible with China’s human rights obligations. The committees are instructed to report back within two weeks for further legislative action.
These resolutions followed the unanimous adoption of a motion on: “Maltreatment and Institutional Acts of Racial Discrimination against Nigerians Living in China by the Government of China, sponsored by Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia) and nine others, during plenary on Tuesday.
Kalu said the House was aware that as a result of the mutually beneficial diplomatic and economic relationship between Nigeria and China, about 10,000 Nigerians, including investors, traders, workers and students, currently reside in and around Guangzhou in the Guangdong Province of the Peoples Republic of China and have generated massive trade volumes between the two countries such that for 2019 alone, the Nigeria-China trade value was worth over $8.6 billion.
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