Being a speech presented by Deputy Comptroller Sunday James, the National Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at the international virtual summit titled Migration: Remedies For Covid-19 and the Economy organised by the Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) on June 6, 2020
The Nigeria Visa Policy 2020 is not just another document added to the publications of the Nigeria Immigration Service but a national document on specifics on a major core mandate of a service that manages and controls the mobility of human beings coming into the country and those leaving the country to another from 6 Classes of Visas to 79, an 87 pages book that deals Visa as a tool used by nations to spur economic growth, enhance security and national development, it impacts on promotion of investments, job creation, technological advancement, thanks to Mr President Muhammadu Buhari that gave approval by presenting the document to the public in his word “I am Confident that the Nigeria Visa policy 2020 will support the attainment of a globally competitive Economy for Nigeria by building on the efforts of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
The document takes care of all Diplomatic concerns, it is a means of control deployed by nations to admit or refuse entry into territories.
As a Sovereign nation, protection of national identity is at the root of nationalism, the Defence of territorial integrity is basically about Border Security and Control à rôle played by Nigeria Immigration Service more prominently since the appointment of Muhammad Babandede MFR as the 16th Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, one of the priority he gave to his administration is re-jigging of the Directorate to Eight(8)with the various Directorate having direct bearing with their statutory name the Border Management takes care of all Border activities Air, Land and Seaport/Marine with emphasis on Border Security and Control, whilst we have the Migration Directorate that deals with Migration management and Control, for the purpose of readership human mobility is centered around Migration and Visa.
Migration and Visa wheels human mobility from place to place, hence the need for a clear national identity and a robust Defence of the territorial Integrity of the country by the operations of a modern, effective and efficient Immigration Service manned by well trained and motivated workforce, this can be seen in today’s Nigeria Immigration Service, many have testified to the impact of the improved services provided at the various service windows of NIS which Visa Issuance is one, the Visa as a tool for control of human traffic starts from the Foreign Missions where anyone who intends to come to Nigeria to work is expected to visit to get an approved visa to Nigeria to reside and work this is a form of control before entry and other form of visas that are checked and cleared at the entry points Airports, Land and Seaports the officials enforces control at the point of Entry whereby they exercise the power to admit or refuse entry depending on the merit or demerit of the travel documents and the status of Visa endorsed or authority but the onus lies on the documents presented and the status of the traveler whether admissible or not, on entry many at times people wonder why somebody is deported or repatriated from Nigeria, the reasons are while in the country the Migrant resident or worker or visitor is expected to operate within the approved Visa or authority permitting entry, any abuse may earn the individual or group a form of sanction as provided in the laws of the service which may be a repatriation or Deportation as the case may be, these applies to even those that have Visa Abolition agreement who may not need visa to come to Nigeria, but the control within has always helped the service to know those staying as Regular or Irregular Migrants, some of the tools are Company, hotel visitation and on the spot inspections, and most recently the Migrant e-registration exercise flagged off by Mr President with a Six(6)months Amnesty period that lapsed in January 2020, the service also patrols the border flanks with the deployment of Special Border Corps and establishment of Forward Operation Bases around the country this and other measures has reduced infiltrations through unapproved entry points and the Visa regime became relevant as every genuine traveler to Nigeria now either applies for Visa at their home country or online depending on what class of visa from the 79 menus.
Nigeria as a nation for the first time can reciprocate any act of Visa violation to any country as appropriate using the Visa fees, Duration and even Non-Issuance as it applies, the Visa regime ensures economic prosperity and ease of doing business with the Visa on Arrival, E-visa, TWP, STR visas and Visitors Pass among others to woe investors, tourists, highly qualified, skilled professionals that Nigeria has non in specialized tasks, Emergency and Turn around Maintenance and after installation services while Nigerians are attached to the experts to understudy them as provided for in the Expatriate Quota provision and local Content laws.
The Nigeria Visa policy 2020 will support the attainment of a globally Competitive economy for Nigeria by building on the efforts of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), hence the policy is expected to improve the business environment, attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and boost tourism without compromising National Security.