By Ibrahim Ikowe Jibril
The Togolese government has given its citizens resident in Nigeria till November 20, 2021 to register with its embassy and be issued Togolese identity documents.
Those affected include Togolese that are born in Nigeria.
Togolese citizens have a huge presence across Nigeria, particularly in the construction industry where they are seen as very proficient. These areas of expertise include masonry, carpentry, furniture making, Tiling, and several other construction works.
It is feared that many Togolese citizens may have perished in the building that collapsed on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos recently, where they may have been engaged in construction works. However, it is equally feared many of those who perished may have no identity.
The spokesman of Togo High Command in Nigeria, Hon Edmund Atsu told Gavel International that documents that will be issued to Togolese people living in Nigeria include Birth Certificate, National Identity, ECOWAS Card, and Togolese International passport. He made this plan known through the High Command platform.
Hon Astu said Togo is not the first country to implement such registration in West Africa. “We are not the first to implement such programs, in fact Niger, Benin, Senegal, Burkina Faso and other countries had done it in the past. Benin did theirs in 2017 here in Nigeria. Togo is the 10th country to implement this ECOWAS card policy. He said that the ECOWAS Cards to be issued here shall replace the “cartes national” that are currently in use in Togo.
He assured the Togo citizens that the registration is completely free, but the charges of any of the documents in Togo are going to be the same charges here in Nigeria.
According to a letter from Togo Embassy in Abuja, signed by Léné Dimban, the registration exercise is going to end on November 20,2021, because the Togolese High Council must submit the register on the same date. Hon Astu therefore called on all Togolese living in Nigeria to meet up with their community or association leaders in their domain before 20th November.
Since the resumption of the Togolese High Council in Nigeria, a lot of things have changed and it has brought residents in Nigeria closer to the government in Lome, the capital city of the country.
This is the first time Togo as a country is embarking on such a programme, issuing documents outside the country.
Hon Astu made it clear that the number of Togolese living in Nigeria are much more than any part of the world and in Nigeria Lagos is where Togolese are much larger than other states.