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Sunday, 15 December 2019

Immigration: With new visa regime, we’ll screen specially visitors from Kenya, Libya, Somalia

Immigration: With new visa regime, we’ll screen specially visitors from Kenya, Libya, Somalia

Immigration Service (NIS) says it will conduct special screening for visitors coming into the country from Kenya, Somalia and Libya.

According to The Punch,the screening is for residents of selected countries battling terrorism.

Speaking at the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa in Egypt, President Muhammadu Buhari announced that all Africans travelling to Nigeria will get visa on arrival from January 2020.

The NIS said the new visa regime will bring about increased security checks at entry points, and that individuals whom the service cannot admit into the country will be sent back.

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“With this new visa regime, we are going to pay special attention to visitors and passengers coming from countries that have issues with insurgency or terrorism. These include Kenya, Libya, Somalia and others,” the newspaper quoted NIS sources to have said.

“Before now, we have an online visa application which visitors from mostly African countries and others outside Africa must fill and submit online. When they get here, we still screen them before we issue them visa and allow them in.

“But some are taking advantage of the visa on arrival to come for other activities such as tourism and church activities. This is because sometimes, they find it difficult to get approval from embassies.

“The majority of people coming are Chinese citizens and other church worshippers who come to Synagogue Church in Lagos. Most of those who come for religious tourism are from Africa. They come in large numbers, especially from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda and a few other African nations. They come strictly for church-related programmes.

“But we carry out extra checks on those from countries like Syria due to terrorism and others in Africa such as Libya. We also scrutinise Kenyans, but the majority of those who come to Nigeria are for church-related purposes.

“They go through security checks and we have a stop list that guides us. On entering Nigeria, the system will alert us of a suspected terrorist because we already have their names with us.”

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