Monday , 3 October 2022
Comptroller-General of Immigration, Muhammad Babandede

Visa on Arrival: Sources finger error in documentation, others as reasons for approval delays

THE teething problems being experienced by some applicants when they try to access the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Visa on Arrival (VOA) scheme have been ascribed to some of the applicants’ inability to upload the right documentation or provide the right details for approvals to be sent.

This is just as Nigerianflightdeck has learnt that in July alone, the VOA at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport alone hit 2, 194 applicants and has graduated from a three-stepped manual process to a web-based process cutting out the middleman to make the process more seamless.

A well-placed source who availed this information to our correspondent explained that the Visa on Arrival is targeted only at business investors, to attract them but stated that some applicants either key in wrong email addresses, refuse upload all the four documents required or use the card number from the café they have used.

According to the source, these approvals or responses are supposed to come within 24 hours and if the documentation is done wrong instant responses are sent but sometimes because the applicant has not used his own email or card it is sent to the one provided.

“Some applicants have issues. From our findings we saw that applicants don’t key in their own e-mails. They don’t use their own cards, they use the cyber café card and the response goes to the Café Not the applicant. Approval centres are up and running 24 hours there is no time you won’t get us.

“We have had a case where a gentleman came and reported to us that he applied and it had gone beyond 24 hours as he was complaining, our boss checked and saw that he has been approved and asked him what email he used and he started thinking and when he recalled, he called his brother who had it in his own e-mail. So you see the process has been fine-tuned, there were initial challenges but now there is someone always responding to VOA applicants 24/7.”

According to him, the applicants are provided a digital key where they can verify the authenticity of their approval with it.

On the reduction of the processes to acquire approval for the VOA, according to the source was done to to make the process a web-based process, and remove the third-party.

“VOA has become web-based and so applicants have nothing to do with our offices just like the Dubai concept where applicants can get the VOA and print out on their own. In the recent past, the applicant would go through a representative who applies to the Comptroller General on the applicants’ behalf and seeks the approval but now that is not the case, as there are no third parties.”

Meanwhile, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Command now has a new comptroller, Abdullahi M. Usman, he takes over from Mohammed Yashe who has been redeployed.


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