Immigration Increases Visa Centres at Lagos Airport


Chinedu Eze

Following the Executive Order on the ease of doing business in Nigeria introduced recently at the airports, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has increased its visa issuing centres at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Lagos to two.

This is aimed at reducing processing time for travellers and to enhance overall passengers facilitation.
Immigration said it has also improved on the immigration counters at the same airport from its initial three to eight.

THISDAY gathered from a visit to the airport that the immigration authorities in Abuja ordered the service at the airport to increase the counters to two in order to facilitate foreigners’ movement into the country and abolish the usual man hour loss due to immigration processes.

Now visas are now issued to foreigners on arrival at both E and D wings of the airport from its initial D wing while no fewer than 20,000 visas have been issued at the airport since the policy came on stream in June.
THISDAY learnt that the issuing of visas on arrival has reduced the number of foreigners going to the home offices of Nigeria abroad, as many of them now prefer to get their visas on arrival at the command.

A source close to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) also told THISDAY that the Comptroller General of Immigration, Mr.. Muhammad Babandede, recently paid an unscheduled visit to the command to observe the implementation of the ease of doing business by the command and ordered them to improve on their relationship with travellers at the command.

Also, as part of the monitoring scheme, the command has tagged the counters of all its personnel at the airport.
Babandede was also reported to have ordered the latest move for proper identification of its officers especially those who have contact with passengers.

According to FAAN official, NIS believed that with this move, it would be easier for passengers to properly identify any officer who requests for bribe from them and take the necessary step to report such officer to superior officers.

The source said: “Immigration boss ordered all the officers to tag their counters to check corruption in the system and also key into the ease of doing business policy of the federal government
“Personally, I would say it is a good development as it will check against low level corruption among officers and also ease passenger facilitation.”