VFS Global country manager in Nigeria, Mr. Rajendra Sadasivam, in this interview with Adeola Akinremi, speaks about the work and challenges of his organisation in Nigeria
How did you react to the invitation by the Nigeria’s minister of Foreign Affairs over the complaints about your operation?
The Honourable Minister called VFS management for a meeting at his office. During our meeting we were informed about the feedback the Ministry had received and we were able to explain our position and the current process at all the Visa Application centres in Nigeria. We are thankful to the honourable minister for taking time to convey his feedback on our services.
Is the minister satisfied by your responses?
We, during the course of our meeting seemed to understand that the Honorable Minister and the directors from the Ministry were satisfied by our responses.
What are the challenges you face that necessitate that people have to stay outside during rainfall and sunshine when applying at your South Africa Visa Application centre?
We do face challenges when applicants, without prior appointment for that particular day wait for submission outside the centres, even after they are requested to come on their day of appointment refuses to leave the premises.
Have you taken any step to provide space for your customers to relax when they come and how are you dealing with touting that is common with visa process in Nigeria?
We have furnished air-conditioned spacious seating facility for applicants inside the Visa Application Centre with submission hours from 8.00 am to 3.00 pm, with additional optional facilities like photo copier services and photo booth within the premises.
We have notices at the centers requesting Applicants to safeguard against touts and dubious agents operating outside our Visa Application Centres. Since the touts operate outside our centres we do not have any control over them. We are a one stop shop which allows the applicants to complete their Application formalities and leave the Application centre instead of falling prey to touts.
Various notices on the gate, Inside the VAC, website and call centres disseminate all necessary information which an Applicant can seek , without having any need of a tout. Our security guards do ensure that we allow only genuine applicants inside the centre. CCTV cameras are kept on a constant vigil for checking on bribing & unwanted activities within the Premises.
Why the VIP process. Is this done elsewhere in countries where you operate and what necessitate it?
The VIP lounge facility is available in many of our centres across the globe. In Nigeria we offer the lounge facility to the UK and South African Visa Applicants which is an optional service as approved by the missions. The lounge facility are highly appreciated by Nigerian applicants which caters for them in a dedicated comfortable area with a faster turnaround time for submission process at the Centre and does not influence any decision making process at the High Commissions concerned.
You are five years in Nigeria, has that changed anything for visa application process known to be quite cumbersome in the past?
Yes. There is no doubt that the visa process journey has changed in Nigeria while VFS Global have eased the entire Visa Application process for applicants during the past 5 years.
VFS Global, provides applicants with a proven service delivery model, without any compromise on data security and yet retain a high quality of service delivery.