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09 December 2019

Visa reforms coming, says Immigration chief

The Federal Government is set to remove cash payment for Nigerian visa applications, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Comptroller General (CGI), Mr. Muhammad Babandede, has said.

He said it was part of the Federal Government’s plans to introduce a new visa regime to boost the economy.

Babandede spoke at the 2019 dinner and award night organised by the service in Abuja.

He added that the new visa regime would be unveiled by the Minister of Interior Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, this year.

According to him, the regime would put Nigeria in line with global best practices, adding that the system would be transparent and secure.

He said: “The e-visa policy will encourage investors to Nigeria thereby generating Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for Nigeria and making Nigeria a most preferred destination through transparency in administration and facilitation of facilities by service.

“I assure you that it will be transparent and we will remove cash payment and ensure no security is compromised.

“It is a balance between facilitation, transparency, and protection of national security.”

Babandede assured that the service would deliver on its mandate by enhancing efficient border security and migration management to strengthen Nigeria’s security architecture in 2020.

He commended the team which was recognised for developing software for officers to take e- examinations.

The CGI added: “As you are aware, we are a regimented institution. We have done all we can in 2019 by dismissing officers for corruption, absenteeism, reduction of ranks of officers and investigating those who took money from applicants or ordinary Nigerians illegally.

“So, having worked tirelessly, we should dedicate a day to commend those who have served well and this would also serve as an example to others.

“Governance is not about punishing people every day. It is also about rewarding and bridging gaps between officers and men by coming together dining, dancing, and rejoicing.”

The awardees were drawn from all NIS commands and recognised for gallantry, resourcefulness and expertise.

The Comptroller-General also received an award presented to him by the Interior Minister, who was represented by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Mrs. Georgina Ekeoma-Ehuria.


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