Super Eagles could shun London after visa hassle – Gernot Rohr

Nigeria could avoid playing friendlies in London from now on because of problems obtaining visas for staff and players, coach Gernot Rohr has said.

The Super Eagles played Senegal at non-league Barnet’s ground in north London last Friday, drawing 1-1, but a second scheduled match against Burkina Faso on Monday had to be called off.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said seven Burkinabe players failed to secure British entry visas.

The German coach said he will now suggest that friendlies and training camps be arranged on mainland Europe to avoid further difficulties as it was “too complicated to get visas” in Britain.

“I think it’s better to stay in Schengen, in Europe, than go to London where the people have problems. Even some players in our team couldn’t come, you know. They didn’t get the visa in time.”

Britain is not part of the Schengen zone, where there are no border controls between signatory countries and where international travellers require only a single visa for travel.

Currently, 26 European countries are part of the area.

Rohr told reporters in London on Monday night that Nigeria tried to find a last-minute replacement when it became clear the match would not go ahead against Burkina Faso.

Officials from Burkina Faso were reportedly told the application would be completed in Morocco, where the team was playing on Friday, as there was no British mission in Ouagadougou.

But the applications were still pending when the mission closed for the weekend.

Rohr, who has previously managed national sides Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso, has worked mainly with players based in mainland Europe since he took charge of Nigeria last year.

The former Bordeaux player and coach, who has also managed several European domestic sides, including Ajaccio, has said it costs less to do so and the facilities are better than in Nigeria.

Nigeria plan to set up a training camp in France in May and play a friendly against Corsica as part of preparations for a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa in June.


Source: AFP

Pregnant women traveling to the US may be deported – Hakeem Balogun

Hakeem Balogun, the chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Nigeria in Washington, says different reasons are responsible for the extreme vetting Nigerians face during entry into the US.

In an interview with NAN in Washington, Balogun said the Nigerians restricted from entering the US failed to meet other required procedures.

“What manner of visa did you collect to come to the United States?” he asked.

“For instance, a pregnant woman who comes to the United States on visiting visa will probably be turned back at the point of entry because she does not have a medical visa.

“You are coming in on a visiting visa and the immigration man sees you pregnant. Naturally, he will turn you back.

“Even if you have the medical visa, they want to know if you have medical insurance; do you have you medical documents for you to be able to come and use their medical facilities here.

“So these are issues. Nigeria is not being singled out. We are not one of those countries that have been mentioned. We are definitely not one of them.”

Balogun further said President Donald Trump’s travel ban did not affect Nigerians.

“The executive ban on immigration does not affect Nigerians. Whatever must have taken place regarding visa issuance, vetting at the airports, it’s all normal,” he said.

“All these things have been on even before President Trump. Let’s get one thing well. That you are issued visa is not a guarantee that you will end up wherever you’re going.

“It’s a global thing; it’s not just United States. Even with us in Nigeria, we issue a visa to you here in the Nigerian embassy.

“There is no guarantee that you will get in when you get to Murtala Muhammed Airport or when you get to Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.

“The final authority is the man at the point of entry – immigration officers there. For instance, you can come to the embassy here, we ask for all the things you need to get the visa.

“How much do you have that we feel will be enough for you to stay in Nigeria for the period you’re going.

“May be as at that time, you were able to show us evidence that you have a thousand dollars which we feel will be enough for you to stay in Nigeria.

“By the time you get to Murtala Muhammed Airport, the man at that end there asked you, all you have to show to him is 100 dollars, definitely, he might turn you back, and that’s normal.”

Nigeria Immigration Service unveils online Visa-on-Arrival platform

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced the introduction of a liberalised online Visa on Arrival (VOA) facility to the public, especially foreign investors willing to invest in Nigeria.

The Comptroller-General of the NIS, Muhammad Babandede, made the announcement on Thursday in Abuja.

Mr. Babandede said the measure was part of the resolution of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) aimed at attracting foreign investors to the country.

“?As a critical member of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), the NIS has automated its visa application and processing services at all entry points.

“This is to ensure that all genuine requests for Visa on Arrival facility from any part of the world are processed and issued within 48 hours (two working days),” he said.

He explained that the? online VOA application and processing facility is a product of robust visa reforms regime intended to bring Nigeria in tandem with global best practices and attract Foreign Direct Investors and skilled professionals into the country.

The controller-general said the new process was? designed to eliminate all unnecessary bureaucratic visa processing procedures in Nigerian Missions abroad.

He said it was also to serve the interests of would-be visitors from countries where Nigeria does not have a Mission.?

He said that? ?a dedicated e-mail address had been deployed where visa applicants, their representatives or companies could forward their requests and details.

Mr. Babandede said that? a?pplicants were advised to use functional e-mail addresses where copies of approval letter shall be forwarded upon a successful process and payment.?

?”?Applicants are, however, to note that successful payment online is not an approval and should not proceed to Nigeria until you have received “Visa on Arrival Approval letter” duly issued by the NIS Headquarters, Abuja,” he added.?

He said that a VOA desk had been opened at all international airports in the country where visas would be issued upon the presentation of all the necessary travel documents and evidence of visa payment.

The NIS boss expressed optimism that the VOA process and the introduction of the harmonised arr?ival and departure cards would go a long way in attracting investors to the country.


Source: NAN

BREAKING: Indonesia announces new visa policy for Nigerians.

The Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Harry Purwanto, on Tuesday announced his government’s new policy for issuing visas to Nigerians and other foreigners wanting to visit Indonesia for any purpose.


Purwanto told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that under the new policy, his Embassy would no longer be involved in visa processing, but only in the collection of visa applications.


The Ambassador, who did not give any reason for his government’s new visa policy, said that the processing of visas to Indonesia would henceforth take a much longer time.


“Nigerians seeking visas to Indonesia should know that the Indonesian government has introduced a new visa application and issuance policy.


“Under the new policy, we as an Embassy in Nigeria have been withdrawn from processing visas.


“All we are now required to do is to collect visa applications and send them to Indonesia for processing. We now have to be taking authority from Jakarta.


“We, therefore, want to tell Nigerians seeking visas to Indonesia to now begin their applications at least two weeks in advance, to enable us send their applications on time to Jakarta,’’ he said.


Purwanto enjoined Nigerians to always ensure that authentic information and documents were provided in their visa application forms, to avoid visa refusal from Jakarta.


The Ambassador, who restated his government’s commitment to issuing more visas to Nigerians, said that about 1,000 Nigerians were issued visas to Indonesia this year.


He also said that his government would continue to create the right environment for mutual trade relations and people-to-people interactions between genuine Nigerians and Indonesians.

RRS arrests 2 Chinese running fake Trinidad and Tobago embassy in Lagos.

The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of Lagos State Police Command has discovered fake embassy operating in Lagos, and arrested two Chinese men who have swindled a number of Nigerians.

Working on intelligence, the squad raided the phony office located at Golden Point and Suite, an hotel on Duduyemi Street, Ejigbo.

Liu Honyang, 47, and Sun Xinai, 49, were arrested alongside their Nigerian collaborators, Oriyomi Olawale and Desmond Chinedu, who are 47 and 25 years of age, respectively.

Adekunle Adefuye, one of the victims, narrated his ordeal to the RRS, stating that he paid N1.3 million for a travels to Trinidad and Tobago.

“I met these people (suspects) through one of their agents, Dorcas Slyver. She is a daughter to my brother’s pastor in Abeokuta. I told her my intentions and zeal to travel to United States of America,” he said.

“After a while, she told me to come to Lagos, that she could procure the American visa for me. On getting to Lagos, she took me to these Chinese where I was told that I should go to Trinidad and Tobago. They persuaded me to go Trinidad and Tobago, that it was easier to secure employment with at least $3,000 as salary.


The arrested suspects

“Initially, I declined to take their bait, insisting that I preferred America to Trinidad and Tobago. But in the long run, they brainwashed me into agreeing to go to Trinidad and Tobago.

“It was at this point, I was told that I would pay N1.3 million for the whole process, including visa processing and flight fare. The payment was made in installment: N376,000 for Visa, ticket N850,000, accommodation N39,000 and Visa Fee N33,000, which I obliged and paid all the monies into Dorcas’ GTB Accounts: 0130671906.”

He revealed that he and another person were rounded up immediately they got to Trinidad and Tobago by the country’s immigration officers for coming into the country with fake visas.

“We left Lagos en route Lome on October 19th, 2016. From Lome to Sao Paulo in Brazil. From there, we moved to Panama where we boarded another plane to Trinidad and Tobago. On getting to the country, we were arrested by their security operatives accusing us of entering their country with fake visa and documents.

“We were locked up for 48 hours before we were deported on October 22nd, 2016, and we arrived Nigeria the following day.”

In his reaction, Liu Hongyag, one of the arrested suspects, said that he only helped her boss do the paperwork and documents.

“We operated as separate entity as travel agency under the company’s name, Golden Point Hotel and Tour, but our office is located inside the hotel. Sun Xinai is my sister, and she is the director of the travel agency.

The mastermind

The mastermind

“I only do paper works and documents for visa procurement…. I don’t know how she secures visa for people. All what I know is that she travels to Abuja and comes back with that stamped visa. I am a phone repairer.”

A source told TheCable that the Trinidad and Tobago Embassy had confirmed the Visa as fake and the two Chinese agents unknown.

But Sun Xinai, the major suspect, said that she was unaware that stamped visa for Trindad and Tobago was no longer tenable in that country anymore.

Responding to RRS’s visa enquiry, the high commission of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in its letter dated December 7, 2016, referenced ABJ: 6/2/3/14, read in part:

“The mission can categorically confirm that the individual SUN XINAI who is claiming to be an agent of this Mission is unknown to us.

“Furthermore, this Mission does not use the services of an ‘agent’ in any capacity whatsoever and has never done so in the past either. With regard to the authenticity of the attached visas, the Mission can also categorically confirm that those visas were not issued at this High Commission and are clearly fraudulent.

“Noteworthy too is the fact that in June 2015, this Mission stopped the practice of issuing stamped visas in passports in favour of individual electronic visas issued from our country’s capital Port of Spain.”

Nigeria commences process to make visa issuance easier

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday in Abuja reiterated call for a change in the nation’s visa administration to encourage tourists and investors.

The minister made the call when he received Jim Flannery, an international advisor to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, UNTWO.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the advisor was sent by UNWTO to assist in the review of Nigeria Tourism Master Plan.

The minister stressed that a new regime that allowed for easy access to visa for tourists and investors at point of entry was required for the tourism sector to grow.

He said he was glad that government had set up a committee on the ease of doing business which would look into it.

The minister also underscored the need for the nation to do away with bureaucracy and encourage full participation of the private sector in growing the tourism industry.

“We must begin to understand that tourism is the new oil that we have failed to discover and exploit.

“It is shocking that Nigeria with a population of about 170 million people and land mass of about one million sq km has only two world heritage sites.

“Whereas, Italy with population of about 50 million people has 51 world heritage sites.

“What that means is that people will not come to our country unless they see what they can be attracted to.

“That explains why France attracted 120 million tourists last year, while the whole of Africa attracted less than 50 million and why three out of five jobs in Italy, three are from the creative industry.

“This figure will show you the importance of tourism and Nigeria is the new tourists destination and we really need to work together to harness the potential in the industry,” he said.

The minister said he was glad to receive the UNWTO delegate whose coming was a fall out of his trip to the headquarters of the world tourism body in Madrid, Spain in July.

The minister recalled that during the visit, the UNWTO agreed to send an expert to help in the review of tourism master plan and to partner in revising the Presidential Council on Tourism.

He said the organisation also promised to assist in organising international conference with the theme; “Tourism as a Tool for Peace’’ in Maiduguri and train women on capacity building in tourism.

The minister urged members of the review committee to cooperate and work with Flanker for a successful review of the master plan.

He said in the course of his stay, Mr. Flannery would meet with major donors like World Bank and UNDP to exploit how they could assist the country in implementing the master plan.

Earlier, Mr. Flannery said the review of the master plan drafted about 10 years ago would not be a total jettison of the existing one.

“We are not here to write a new master plan, because we have a very expansive document before us that has never been implemented.

“This time, our attitude will be let us break it down to smaller steps and identify what can be done quickly to open new products and create  new markets.’’

He said that unlike the manufacturing industry, tourism does not need special technical knowhow and huge investment to start.

He noted that tourism was a very viable industry that most countries were now realising and benefitting from and Nigeria would not regret the action taken to reposition the sector.

Nigeria vows to address discriminatory visa, banking polices by UAE government

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has assured that the Federal Government would address obnoxious policies on visa and banking against Nigerians in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Minister gave the assurance in Abu Dhabi when he met with the officials of the Nigeria Embassy in UAE, led by the Charge d’ Affaires, Nura Rimi.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was on the sideline of the International Conference for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas, attended by the minister in the UAE capital.

NAN reports that the minister represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the conference.

Mr. Mohammed said a situation where many Nigerians with genuine mission to the UAE were given only two weeks visa into the country was not acceptable.

The minister expressed shock to hear that Nigerians studying in the country were not allowed to open bank accounts, making it difficult to send money to them by their parents.

He assured that he would take the matter up with appropriate authorities at home and ensure something was done to address the challenges.

“I think these are quite serious issues especially when Nigeria gives them months when they apply for visa.

“I can assure you that the government will take it up.

“On the denial to open accounts, of course you will always have good people and bad people in every society, but unfortunately, it is that bad people that always attract the attention of the authorities.

“We will not want to be judged by these bad people and I think again it is a matter that the government has to immediately take up,” he said.

The minister assured the embassy staff that the concern raised on non-availability of current information on Nigeria in missions worldwide was being addressed.

The hosts had said that most time they relied on inaccurate information from internet, particularly when people come to seek information on investment potentials in Nigeria from the embassy.

The minister said that “on Dec. 15, the ministry will launch an information apps which is going to provide real time information to Nigerians home and abroad on any issue.”

He said the app is a collaboration between the ministry and the private sector and when launched it would be able to solve the challenge in all missions across the globe.

“We are also contemplating launching a special Foreign Service news delivery system where classified information, particularly on investment will be disseminated,” he said.

Reacting to Emirates Airline suspension of flight to Abuja and cutting down on frequency of flights to Lagos, the minister said the issue was being addressed

“It is not because the route is not viable; it is because they have been unable to repatriate their funds.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria and the government are working very hard to ensure that very soon it is reversed,’’ he said.
The minister disclosed that government recently approved the signing of Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) with the UAE and Singapore which would forestall future occurrence of such development.

Mohammed expressed delight that the UAE was willing to assist in the challenge of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) when approached.

He seized the opportunity to brief his hosts on what the government was doing to address the challenge of IDPs.

“Today, a minister is the coordinating officer between the various international organisations and government on IDPs.

“For once, the humanitarian organisations are realising the magnitude of the crisis in the North East, with an understanding that it is a crisis that involve over 20 million people from about seven nations around the Lake Chad Basin.

“The FAO, UNICEF, UNHR, International Organisation for Migration and others are coming together to our aid.

“What is interesting is that they said they have come because of the commitment the country has demonstrated to the crisis,” he said.

Earlier, the envoy had told the minister that in spite of all challenges, the mission had been able to carry out its assigned responsibilities diligently and received the recognition and accolade from the host country.

“Recently, we were awarded a certificate of excellence by the government of UAE.

“Nigeria embassy in Abu Dhabi is one of the three embassies that received the award of excellence and recognition.

“That goes to say that out of paucity of fund and other pressing challenged, we are still committed and dedicated to carrying out our responsibilities,” he said.

Rimi added that they were in total support of government’s efforts back home and ready to carry out any responsibility that will assist in the fulfilment of the change agenda.

He said that Nigerian living outside the shore of the county are also experiencing the same economic challenges people are facing back home

He said it is a supreme sacrifice that all have to make for better tomorrow.

Rimi said there is a sizeable number of Nigerians in the UAE particularly in Abu Dhabi.

“We have professionals in the state owned oil companies, renewable energy, tourism industry and we have university professors and other Nigerians in various institutions of learning.

We also have many business men in Dubai and a large concentration of Nigerian students in this country,” he said.

He appealed to government officials coming to the country for official duty to always notify the embassy ahead of their visit.

Police Burst Visa Racketeering Syndicate, Arrest Suspect

The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command burst a visa racketeering syndicate and arrested the mastermind, one Emu-Larry Chidiebere, on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old suspect was arrested for being  involved in the United Arab Emirate’s visa racketeering scheme at the Ajah area of Lagos State.

The suspect, who hails from Ika North Local Government Area in Delta State, alongside his gang, was said to have swindled one Abraham Jude and four other persons of N2million, under the false pretence of helping them procure a Dubai Visa.

According to Jude, one of the victims, “When I was laid off where I was working in Abuja. I had intention of moving out of the country to start a new life.

“Then, I met his uncle (the suspect) Samuel Obed, who told me his nephew was working with one company at the United Arab Emirate (UAE) and that he could help me to secure the country’s visa.

“We started to communicate via telephone, and he assured me that he could secure Dubai Visa for me at a reasonable price. He requested for N400, 000, which I told him I can’t afford such huge amount of money at that particular point in time.

“Later, he called me again that his work place in Dubai was recruiting and he had already submitted my name for employment. Afterwards, he started to persuade me by telling me the benefits that are attached to the employment.

Credit: thisdaylive

EFCC Arraigns American For $2.3m Visa Scam

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned an American businessman, Marco Ramirez, alongside his companies — Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP and USA Now LLC — on eight counts bordering on obtaining money by false pretences to the tune of $2.3m.

Ramirez was arraigned before Justice Peter Affen of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Maitama on Monday, according to a statement by the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren.

According to the complainants, Prince Ejikeme Mgbemena and Frank Egbon, the suspect allegedly promised them that he would invest the money under the Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Based Fifth Preference (EB-5).

The complainants further alleged that the suspect promised to provide American Green Card for members of their families below 18 years.

The charges read in part, “That you Marco Anthonio Ramirez, being the Manager of Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP and USA NOW LLC and you EAGLE Ford Instalodge Group LP and USA Now LLC on or about May 21, 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud obtained through an account titled Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP domiciled at Wells Fargo Bank USA the sum of $55,000 from one Ejikeme Mgbemena under the pretext of investing for him under the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Based Fifth Preference (EB-5) Regional Center Program with pretence you knew was false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.’’

The accused person pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Credit: Punch

Culture Minister Wants Nigeria’s Visa Policy Relaxed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has called for the relaxation of the nation’s visa policy so that visitors to Nigeria can easily be given entry visas.



The minister, who spoke while briefing the Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the advocated policy would boost tourism. He said that granting visitors’ visas on arrival, would go a long way in making the country tourists’ destination.



The minister added that government must improve the state of infrastructure and tourism sites across the country; so as to make Nigeria attractive to tourists.



“People talk about terrorism, but I can tell you that terrorism is not the major issue hindering tourism in Nigeria. There is more terrorism in Israel than in Nigeria, but yet people troop to that country every year for pilgrimage. Again, imagine a beautiful tourism site like the Obudu Resort, but the flight arrangement is such that when you go to Obudu on a Saturday for instance, there is no flight until the next Saturday. “How do you expect a tourist to undertake such adventure,” he queried, adding,” we have to make the tourism sites very attractive and accessible.”




In his remarks, Chairman of the committee, Sen. Matthew Urhoghide, urged the ministry officials to initiate new programmes that can make Nigeria an attractive tourists’ destination.



The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the agencies and departments under the ministry were billed to defend their budget before the Committee on Appropriation on Feb. 16.

Why “ISIS Fugitive Leader” Was Issued Visa, Foreign Affairs Official Explains

Radical Lebanese Islamic cleric, Ahmad Al-Assir, who was arrested last week as he attempted traveling to Nigeria, got an entry visa into Nigeria because the country’s embassies do not capture applicants’ biometric data, an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Biometrics cover a variety of unique identifiable attributes of people including fingerprint, iris print, hand, face, voice, gait or signatures, and are used for identification and authentication.

The foreign affairs official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said with the surge of security breaches and religious fundamentalism, biometric capturing has become a norm yet, Nigeria, currently battling Boko Haram insurgency, has failed to utilise the technology.

“While the measure tends to pre-empt influx of terrorists instead they (sic) depend on the use of stop list for potential visa applicants,” the official said.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Immigration Boss In Trouble Over Visa To ISIS Chief

Following reports that a chieftain of ISIS, Ahmed Al Assir, was granted a Nigerian visa in Lebanon, the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, David Parradang, may have fallen into troubled waters.

The immigration boss is said to be making frantic efforts to save his neck as the president has ordered a full-scale probe into the incident.

A staff of the Service at the national headquarters confided in some journalists on Thursday that the NIS boss was already contemplating a major shakeup especially at the Visa department.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bulus Lolo, confirmed that the Federal Government had begun investigations on the issue.

He explained that the Nigerian Charge d’Affairs in Lebanon had met with Lebanese authorities to look into the matter.

His words: “I have commenced my own investigation process. I spoke to our Charge d’Affairs in Lebanon and he has met with the Lebanese authorities.

“The Charge d’Affairs said the matter was being looked into but the facts that were emerging would suggest that what the media had reported was not entirely the true story…”

Read Morenationalmirroronline

U.S Embassy Lists “Lack of Economic & Social Ties” As Major Reason Why Nigerians Are Denied Visa

Consul General of the US embassy, William Laidlaw, has expressed that contrary to popular opinion, US visa application processes are not as stringent as people think.
Speaking with Punch, he stated that efforts are being made to improve visa processes better for Nigerians by decentralizing the process.
He also revealed that one of the most common reasons why Nigerians are refused visa, is because of failure to show evidence of social and economic ties.
Laidlaw stated:
To really qualify for a visit to the US, you have to show you have social and economic ties sufficient to meet the immigration terms we have in our laws.
To have those social and economic ties usually means somebody who has developed a

career, developed a household and has done something to develop himself within Nigeria…

If you can establish your social and economic ties and we understand who you are in Nigerian context, that allows us to make an evaluation judgment; It’s very hard for very young people, I’m sorry, but that’s the way the law is written,” he said.
He also noted that at least 7,000 Nigerians are currently attending school in the United States, and that 66 percent of tourist visa applications were approved in 2014.

UK envoy: No final decision on visa bond for Nigerians

The British High Commissioner in Nigeria has thrown more light on the controversial 3000 pounds bond being proposed as a condition for the granting of visitor visas to Nigerians, saying no final decision has been taken yet on the issue.

High Commissioner Andrew Pocock, in a statement after a meeting in Abuja today with Nigeria’s foreign minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru said “the details of a pilot scheme are still being worked out. No final decision has been made”.

Pocock added that what the the British Government has in the pipeline is ” a very small scale trial of the use of financial bonds as a way of tackling abuse in the immigration system, which occurs when some people overstay their visa terms”.

“If the pilot were to go ahead in Nigeria it would affect only a very small number of the highest risk visitors. The vast majority would not be required to pay a bond. Those paying bonds would receive the bond back, if they abided by the terms of their visa,”, he said.

According to the high commissioner, over 180,000 Nigerians apply to visit the UK each year.

” About 70% or around 125,000, of those applicants are successful. Travel between our two countries is a key part of our strong cultural and business relationship. Financial bonds would be focussed on only a tiny minority of potential abusers. It would NOT be a “£3000 visa charge” as some media reporting has alleged.”

Pocock promised Ambassador Ashiru to furnish the Nigerian government “more details of the policy”, when decided “in the spirit of our long standing friendship, and our wish to help bona fide Nigerian visitors to work, study or do business in the United Kingdom.”

The statement was signed by Rob Fitzpatrick, Head of Press and Public Affairs Section of the British High Commission in Abuja.

Earlier reports by the UK’s Sunday Times said the visa bond will come on stream from November this year and will affect ‘high risk’ visa applicants from Nigeria, India and Ghana, Pakistan, Bangladesh and sri Lanka.

Visitors aged 18 and over would be forced to hand over £3,000 ($4,600, 3,500 euros) from November for a six-month visit visa.

They will forfeit the money if they overstay in Britain after their visa has expired.

Ambassador Ashiru at the meeting with Pocock blasted the visa policy as “discriminatory”.

The minister described the policy “as not only discriminatory but also capable of undermining the spirit of the Commonwealth family.”

Ashiru told the British diplomat that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, “has a responsibility to take appropriate measures to protect the interest of Nigerians who may be affected by the proposed policy, if finally introduced,” the statement said.

Source: PM News