Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, will on Wednesday host the leadership of the Saudi Arabian Consultative Council – Majlis al-Shura – in his office and then later at a dinner in his residence.
The visit of the Majlis Al-Shura to the Senate President is the first time the leadership of the top Saudi legislative body would be visiting Nigeria.
The group is in the country to see Saraki in furtherance of the cordial relationship between him and the Saudi authorities, dating back to his time as Governor of Kwara State.
During the visit, Saraki and the principal officers of the Senate are expected to engage the group on how best to improve the existing diplomatic and economic ties between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia,
The talks will also focus on how to tackle the menace of terrorism, especially the Boko Haram insurgents in the country. The Senate President Is expected to use the visit to canvass support for the rehabilitation of the Internally Displaced Persons in the North-east zone.
The meeting is coming on the heels of the Senate President’s outcry against the ill-treatment meted on Nigerians who apply for the Saudi Visa to perform the lesser Hajj in July.
Saraki had earlier faulted the Saudi Arabian visa policy to enable Nigerians perform their religious obligations in the holy land, following widespread complaints from pilgrims who performed this year’s lesser Hajj.
“The present process in which visitors to Saudi must go through a third party has created artificial bottlenecks now being exploited by the travel agents and the embassy officials. Our people are now made to suffer indignities arising from conspiracy between the embassy officials and the so called agents. The process is fraught with corrupt practices,” Saraki stated.
The Senate President further said some Nigerian pilgrims complained that they obtained their Visa through third parties in other West African countries at exorbitant cost.
The Majlis al-Shura, a Consultative Council, is a legislative body that advises the King on issues that are important to Saudi Arabia.
The Council which currently consists of 150 members gained full membership of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in 2003.