Principle of reciprocity will be employed in dealing with countries whose citizens enjoy easy entry into Nigeria but deliberately make it hard for Nigerians visiting such countries.
This position was stated by Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo while speaking with NigerianEcho. He noted that Nigerians have faced enough humiliation while trying to secure entry visas to some countries in order to carry out their legitimate businesses.
He wondered why those countries whose citizens enjoy the “Visa on Arrival” (VOA) policy in Nigeria would treat Nigerians with such disdain.
He said, “Nigeria cannot be offering visas on a platter to nationals of some countries who are coming to the country to make money, and yet such countries would not reciprocate the gesture to Nigeria’s travelling public who go to such countries to spend their money.
“Enough is enough. Compare and contrast these attractive qualities that Nigeria possess with other African nations; you will be amazed what clear difference there is.
“Nigerians go through hell to go to some countries, for instance, to import goods running into millions of dollars. This is quite a paradox, an incomprehensible thing to any right-thinking person. Hundreds of dollars are paid to secure letters of invitation, and including a certain coded letter from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and the provision of these do not yet guarantee expedited processing or ultimate application approval.
“It is rather irksome, pugnacious and indeed humiliating to an average Nigerian business person to be subjected to the rigorous visa application processes at the same countries whose nationals enjoy Nigeria Visa-on-Arrival Policy ( VOA)”
Tunji-Ojo said a committee has been set up to review both passport and visa policy in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign affairs.
“We have set up a committee chaired by the Permanent Secretary to review our passport and Visa policy. The director, Joint Services is the secretary and Nigeria Immigration boss, is a member among others.
“The committee has about two weeks to submit its report. Once we enforce this principle of reciprocity, people will call us to talk too because most of these people who come to Nigeria come to make money and yet we go to their own countries to spend money. Yet, they make it difficult for Nigerians. We are working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on this”, Tunji-Ojo noted.