Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Isah Idris on Wednesday advised the United Kingdom (UK) to review its strict visa regime, insisting that it was such action that powers irregular migration.
Idris said this in Abuja at the opening session of the 2023 Nigeria-United Kingdom Migration, Justice and Home Affairs Bilateral Talks.
The Immigration henchman said: “I want to express our gratitude for your magnanimity in the provision of various classes of Visas through which Nigerians can travel to the United Kingdom.
“However, I will like to call on participants at this meeting to discuss issues like the costs of visa fees and the high rate of visa application rejections. On our side, I want to inform that the revised Nigeria Visa Policy (NVP 2020) is robust enough to make Nigeria an attractive investment destination for British citizens and all other Nationals. One of the high points of the new visa policy is the introduction of the Visa on Arrival regime, which is a business visa issued to high net-worth investors upon their arrival in Nigeria.”
He called on all to deliberate upon facilitation of official travels for Government functionaries, adding that: “In my view, such an issue can be easily tackled with the introduction of Visa waiver for holders of Diplomatic and Official passports who are on official assignment.”
He however applauded the United Kingdom for the successes recorded by the project, ‘Collaborating Against Trafficking and Smuggling CATS’ executed by IOM.
Idris noted that the programme has assisted Nigeria in collaborating more effectively with the Republic of Niger to jointly tackle issues of Migrants Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons. The project has provided us with a glossary of terminology which is assisting Border Officials in the Nigeria/ Republic of Niger Borderlines to effectively communicate with Migrants. In addition, the CATS project has also facilitated the drafting of an MoU on data sharing between Nigeria and Niger.
He said CATS is a laudable project and I request that you extend it to the Nigeria/Benin and Nigeria/Cameroun Borders as reports have revealed that facilitators of Irregular Migration are switching to the Nigeria-Benin-Niger and Nigeria-Cameroon -Gabon routes to perpetrate their crimes.