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Comptroller-General of Immigration, Muhammad Babandede

Immigration to increase visa on arrival space to accommodate hundreds at MMIA

COMPTROLLER GENERAL, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. Mohammed Babandede has given the approval for the expansion of space st the Visa-On-Arrival counters at D and E Wings at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos Command to accommodate no fewer than 100 visa applicants

At present, the space where visa-on-arrival are issued at the two wings of the airport can only accommodate less than 30 travellers each but with the planned increase in a few weeks, more counters are supposed to come onstream and create more space for foreigners who require visas in the country.

An immigration source in Abuja today told our correspondent that with the expansion of the counters, no fewer than 100 foreigners requiring visas on arrival in the country would be attended to from each wings of the airport simultaneously.

The source said that apart from creating a more conducive environment for travellers, it would also shore up the image of the country in the international community.

The immigration source also attributed the expansion to the ease-of-doing-business policy of the Federal Government, which came onboard June last year.

He explained that immigration was one of the government agencies that benefitted most from the policy, saying that the command now has more foreigners coming into the country and are issued visas on arrival with ease unlike in the past when they went through rigours to obtain visas.

The source said: “We need to improve on our image and ways of doing things in the country. Since the ease-of-doing-business policy of the Federal Government came onboard about a year ago, immigration has benefitted immensely from the scheme. We now have more travellers either in business or tourism that visit the country.

“The expansion of the visa-on-arrival counters will further improve our relationship with passengers. at it is, when two flights land simultaneously, the passengers are unnecessarily delayed at the airport, but once it is expanded, passengers would spend less time with us and be more comfortable.”

Recall that the airport command about a month ago said that it had issued at least 12, 000 visas to foreigners entering Nigeria through the airport in the past six months.

A source close to the service in Abuja had told our correspondent that on a weekly basis, the command issues at least 500 visas to foreigners on arrival through the command while it goes as high as 1,000 visas in some weeks.

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