Nigerians who wish to go home to Nigeria but applying with another country’s passport are charged the same fee that is charged to all foreigners applying for a travel Visa to Nigeria.
They are also required to submit to biometric data enrollment as is the case for all foreign visa applicants – just as other countries ask Nigerians who wish to travel abroad to go through biometric visa enrollment.
Our findings have, however, revealed that they do not have to pay for visa to travel to Nigeria if they are travelling with Nigerian Passports.
This, according to the relevant authorities in charge of immigration services in Nigeria is aimed at providing a proper background for the recently introduced Nigerian biometric visa issuance in order to clear some misconceptions. Part of these include allegation that it is an exploitative policy targeted at Nigerians in diaspora wishing to visit home.
Interactions with some of the service providers have revealed the impression that the USD 180 charged for visa is being paid to the service provider, is not true as it has been found that it goes directly to the federal Government.
These clarifications, we have found is based on the realization that that a significant number of Nigerians in diaspora have dual citizens, maintaining the citizens of their host country while retaining their Nigerian citizenship.
Further finding has also shown that Nigerians abroad can obtain or renew their Nigerian passport at the same price as that paid by Nigerians in Nigeria. However, Nigerians residing abroad who chose to use their foreign passport to travel to Nigeria, they must then obtain a visa just like every other holder of a foreign passport wishing to travel to Nigeria.
This is not unique to Nigeria, as the same rule that applies with every country that allows its citizens to have dual citizenship.
The biometric visa issuance process was introduced as a means of addressing contemporary migration issues and challenges. Foremost in this regard, is the issue of security within the context of international terrorism as well as internal insurgency problems. By putting in place a biometric visa regime, Governments of issuing countries are able to collect vital biometric information on persons who may pose serious security threats if allowed into their countries, and also take adequate preemptive measures to forestall this.
The Nigeria biometric visa issuance is one of the bold steps taken by the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Interior and the Nigeria Immigration Service in order to put in place a world class modern migration management systems.
Nigeria is taking a cue from countries like United State, Australia, United Kingdom and others that have used the procedure to tighten security and increase foreign exchange earning to their countries.
In the case of Nigeria, the whole biometric visa issuance system, including consumables, is financed through 100% private vendor-financed platform. The service provider is responsible for the sourcing of the funds for the building of the system architecture, installation and administration of the biometric visa system. The project has so far consumed hundreds of millions of USD.
In order to assist the service provider to recoup its investments, the Government approved a service charge of 60 British Pounds, which amounts to about 90 USD. It is worthy to note here that 40% of 60 British Pounds is ploughed back to Government under the PPP arrangement.
So far, the company approved by the Federal Government to handle the biometric visa project, Online Integrated Solutions Limited (OIS) has been able to build a world class data center at the Nigeria Immigration Service Headquarters, Abuja; facilitated access to all relevant Nigerian security agencies for the proper screening and adjudication of potential travelers to Nigeria; aid in the deployment of Regional Servers in Europe, Asia, the middle belt and the Americas, as well as facilitated training of the Immigration Officers in the operations of the biometric visa system, among other advantages.