The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) is set to embark on what it termed visa reforms as it disclosed that it was considering introducing new categories of visas to tourists, Nigerian retirees living abroad, and visas for incentive/investors.
Speaking during an interview, the Comptroller-General of Immigration (CGI), Mohammad Babandede said it was part of the immigration’s visa reforms.
Babandede made known that the country needed to encourage visitors with money and intellectual capacity to assist in nation-building. He said that if the visa was not going to break either the nation’s security or good economy, the immigration was ready to support it so as to cut corruption.
The CGI, speaking further on the reforms, said that actions were also being carried out in the area of passport and that the service sees national security as utmost priority.
“As a quick win, we promised to make the prices of passport available to the public to see and read the price and pay for it. One of the quick wins we have done is to standardize the operations of the passport, we want Nigerians to know the process of getting a passport and visa on the passport.
“So it is not just the reforms, but what is in the reforms is for greater service delivery. The important thing is that in each reform we do, we consider national security.”
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Impact of border closure: Commenting on border closure from the perspective of the NIS, the immigration boss said it had helped the country curtail not just the people who enter but also Nigerians who take the bush paths to travel without passports.
According to Babandede, as at a month ago, no fewer than 11,000 persons were prevented from travelling out through illegal means. He noted that the border closure had made it convenient for the service to deport persons who were not supposed to be in the country.