Speaker asks Canadian envoy to reduce visa processing time,

Earlier, Arendas, who noted that he had been in the state for two months, said that it was interesting to witness the proceedings of the house.

Lagos State House of Assembly complex.

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, on Tuesday urged the Canadian embassy to reduce visa processing time for Nigerians.

Obasa made the plea while receiving the Deputy High Commissioner of Canada in Nigeria, Mr Lajos Arendas, who visited him in his office in Lagos.

He said that the assembly had passed progressive laws for the state, and called for support from the Canadian government.

"Canada and Nigeria have come a long way; Canada stood by Nigeria during the years of the late Gen. Sanni Abacha, who was a maximum ruler of the country.

"We know you also support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and you provide support for our country by helping to reduce maternal death.

"We thank you for granting us visas; we want this to continue but the period of obtaining the visa of your country should be reduced," Obasa said.

He said that members of the assembly would continue to represent their people ‘’and their interests will be paramount to lawmakers’’.

He disclosed that the house had passed the Child Rights Bill for the protection of children, Domestic Violence Law to protect women, Procurement Law, among others.

The speaker said that the envoy’s visit was a confirmation that Canada was interested in the development of democracy in Nigeria.

He said that he was impressed by what he saw when he visited the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, adding that he thought that he was in a different country.

Arendas stated that Lagos was the hub of business not only in Nigeria, but also in Africa, and said that the business of Canada with Nigeria had been growing over the years.

According to him, Nigeria is the number one partner of Canada in Africa.

On the issuance of visa, he said that the average time of delivery had reduced from four years to two years.

"The visa was being delayed due to the process of documentation and others, but the system is improving and it is not far from being perfect," the envoy said.

He promised that he would try to convince Canadian companies in Nigeria to bear with the country in the area of foreign exchange transaction.

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