…Sends Back 278 foreigners Without Valid Visas In 10 Months
…Enforces NIS CG’s No Visa No Entry Directive
As part of efforts to ensure that the Nigeria Immigration Service(NIS)attend to a greater number of travellers seeking Visas on Arrival(VoA) the Federal Government through NIS Comptroller General Mr. Mohammed Babandede, has expanded the Visa On Arrival lounge at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
This is just as checks by AbelNewsng.com revealed that the Airport Command of NIS has sent back about 278 foreign travellers in the past 10 months, who entered Nigeria without valid visas.
A source close to NIS Headquarters, who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the online platform that the D and E Wings of the arrival halls of the international wing of MMA has been expanded to accommodate more space for travellers.
The source added that before the expansion, most travellers, who needed VoA had complained about the inadequate space, which could only accommodate less than 30 travellers each at a go, but with the expansion which was approved courtesy the CG , the office space can now at least 100 travellers VoA.
The source further stated that apart from creating a more conducive environment for travellers, it would also boost the image of the country.
On the recent award won by NIS Airport Command, the source said that the honour would further ginger the Command to do more
The source said that expansion is part of the Ease-of-Doing-Business policy introduced by the Federal Government June 2017.
“We need to improve on our image and ways of doing things in the country. Since the ease-of-doing-business policy of the Federal Government came onboard about a year ago, immigration has benefitted immensely from the scheme. We now have more travellers either in business or tourism that visit the country.
“The expansion of the visa-on-arrival space will further improve our relationship with passengers. at it is, when two flights land simultaneously, the passengers are unnecessarily delayed at the airport, but once it is expanded, passengers would spend less time with us and be more comfortable,” the source said.
The source said that one of the challenges the NIS is facing is that some of the travellers who applied VoA don’t wait for approval of the Comptroller General before coming to Nigeria.
In his words, “You either apply for VoA and wait for CG’s approval before coming into Nigeria or go to embassy,”
The source also disclosed that NIS has sent back 278 passengers without visa in the last 10 months of the year.
According to the source the decision to send back these passengers was in line with the CG NIS directive of “No visa no entry.”
According to the source, “Most of them don’t wait fir the approval of CG before embarking on their journey to Nigeria. The approval of CG is just within 48 hours, while we need approval and confirmation of payment from them. The payment is however valid for 14 days. As it is, at immigration, we don’t touch any amount of money.’
On the relationship between NIS and other agencies at the airport, the source said that the synergy has been excellent.