Over 12, 000 foreigners have been issued visas on arrival at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos in the last six months.
With the implementation of the policy, it was gathered at the Lagos Airport Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) yesterday that no fewer than 500 foreigners are issued the visa every week.
“There were weeks when close to 1000 visas were issued to foreigners with the requisite approval of the Comptroller General of Immigration, Muhammed Babandede in Abuja”, an official who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity said.
Daily Trust reports that Nigeria and Kenya have been implementing the VoA policy since 2012 before the scheme was extended to other countries in line with the government’s Ease of Doing Business programme to encourage more investors into the country.
According to the source, among the foreigners were those who came to the country for business and tourism.
“This is how the Visa on Arrival operates. It is issued from outside the country. You apply for it and it goes through a process before approval is given. The approval is done in Abuja. Ours is to just issue you once we have seen that the approval has been granted by the CGI”, the official said pleading not to be named as he is not the official spokesperson of the service.
It was further learnt that the foreigners being issued the Visas on Arrival were subjected to rigorous screening before granting the request to ensure the person is not on any criminal or terrorist network.
“Again, a reputable organisation is made to write an undertaking that they are responsible for the invitation”, the source said.
On the requirements to get the VOA, it was learnt that there must be a letter from a company seeking approval and taking responsibility, then there is also a business permit letter as well as a certificate of incorporation and most importantly, an airline ticket.
Also, for pregnant mothers who fly out to give birth overseas, their children were issued the VoA pending when the parents can get the documentation (Visa) of the child as the child is considered a dual citizen.