Consul General inaugurates Nigerian Union Secretariat in South Africa
Speaking at the inauguration in Pretoria, South Africa, she urged Nigerians resident in South Africa to register with the union to ensure easy access to the Nigerian mission in that country.
Okeke also urged smaller associations to affiliate with the union, saying it remains a platform for interface between the mission and Nigerians.
She said the mission was in touch with Nigerians resident in South Africa through the network of the union’s branches in the country during the xenophobic attacks.
‘’ In government records, successive Consul Generals have said that the Nigerian Union provides the most veritable umbrella to deal with and interface with Nigerians.
‘’ It was exemplified during the xenophobic attacks that we were able to have a touch of everywhere because of the wide spread reach of the Nigerian Union.
‘’ So, we do not have a viable alternative to the Nigerian Union.
“ However, because the Nigerian constitution guarantees freedom of association, anybody can belong to any association they like,’’ she said.
Okeke also said the plans by the union to introduce a national identity card for all Nigerians in South Africa was commendable.
She said that the mission would inform all the Provincial Commissioners of Police about the project in order to give it recognition.
The Consular General’s office, she added, would provide a photo copying machine, a computer set and a television set to the Secretariat.
The President of the Nigerian Union, Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, said the union was formed in 2008 and has chapters in nine provinces and 58 wards in South Africa.
‘’ The union’s objectives are to promote unity among Nigerians in South Africa while supporting and promoting growth among Nigerians in the areas of trade, learning and culture,’’ he said.
Anyene said other objectives were to advance and project the corporate image of Nigeria and to support healthy relationship between Nigerians, South Africans and other nationalities in trade, commerce, learning and culture.
He commended the consular general for working closely with the union and assisting it to meet the needs of Nigerians in South Africa.
“ The national secretariat will be a rallying point for all Nigerians in South Africa.
“ It will coordinate the activities of all the chapters to make it work as an organised unit,’’ he said.
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