By Bukola Adetoye
Lagos, Oct. 8, 2021
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has said that its newly introduced Visa on Arrival (VOA) facility was to attract foreign investments to the nation.
Mr Abdullahi Dalhatu, the Controller of immigration in charge of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, on Friday.
He explained that the visa on arrival policy was meant to facilitate easy travels, especially urgent business trips as well as promote international trading activities.
According to him, the facility covers African and non – African citizens, who are not members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
“VOA is a class of short visit visa issued at the point of entry and the facility is readily available to the frequently travelled high net worth investor”, he said.
He added that the facility aimed to provide easy access to potential visitors, who may not readily obtain normal visas at the existing Nigerian Missions in their own countries or those on urgent business engagements and travels.
The controller said such travellers must apply for the VOA online, through the official website of the NIS, stressing that the facility was not a passport on arrival, as earlier misconstrued by some Nigerians.
Dalhatu said that the application would be processed online and all the criteria have to be met before a pre- approval was granted to an applicant within 48 hours.
“It is the pre-approval slip that the visitor would use to board a flight using his travel passport” he added.
Africans, who are not ECOWAS members, have the privilege of applying for the facility on arrival before or after, he said, adding that non-African citizens, outside ECOWAS must similarly apply online and get pre–approval before they embarked on any journey to the country.
“The service has created a ‘Special Desk’ in our office with a view to attend to such visitors on arrival.
“The personnel in charge of the desk are a group of qualified experts from the service who are readily available to attend to such cases,” Dalhatu added.