Nigeria’s Visitors Suffer Over Visa Scarcity

Daily Trust Abuja Joshua Odeyemi
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

Some foreigners intending to visit Nigeria are finding it difficult to secure visa from Nigerian embassies in their respective countries, Daily Trust has gathered.

Those who spoke to our reporter said efforts to get a visa to the country have proved abortive as officials at the embassy complained of non-availability of stamps.

One of the victims who craved anonymity told our reporter that: « In Johannesburg, South Africa, we have been informed that there is no guarantee that everyone will obtain a visa as the consular services have not had stickers since October 12th and they do not know when the stickers will be available. »

The expatriate who was scheduled to train some entrepreneurs in Abuja, added that: « At least, four cases of people applying for the visa and not being able to get them have been reported. »

Another intending visitor told Daily Trust that he had tried thrice to come to Nigeria without success.

Our reporter also gathered that the embassy in South Africa was also insisting on full payment of hotels and flights, as well as a non-refundable guarantee of ZAR6000 before processing the visa application.

A Nigerian woman who tried to visit Nigeria with her South African husband said they were unable to make the trip as her hubby was unable to get his visa.

A travelling agent confided in our reporter that the problem was not restricted to South Africa, stressing that « we get the same complains from officials in most Nigerian embassies abroad. »

Responding, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mohammed Babandede acknowledged that there was actually scarcity of stickers.

« Yes, there is scarcity of stickers, in some of our embassies and we are already looking for a way around it. We want to adopt a digital signature mechanism now. »

When asked about when the new initiative would come into effect, Babandede said the Service will start the implementation as soon as fund is made available. « Probably, next year », he added.

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