The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has disclosed that over 3.6 million Nigerians migrated to other countries within a space of two years.
The Controller, Murtala Muhammed International Airport Command, Mrs. Adeola Adesola Adesokan, disclosed this in a speech during the facility tour of the remodeled ‘E Wing Arrival’ at the airport.
She said data from NIS’s Migration Information Data Analysis System (MIDAS), showed that about 2, 115, 139 persons emigrated from Nigeria in 2022, while 1, 574, 357 left the country from January to September 31,2023, making it a total of 3,679, 496 that have left Nigeria in the last two years.
It was learnt most of the migrants left for greater opportunities overseas due to economic hardship, while some secured admission for further studies.
Adesokan also disclosed that since the Tinubu administration, more investors have been coming into the country adding that about 700 foreign investors apply for visa on arrival every day, a figure she described as encouraging, and higher than what used to be previously obtained.
She disclosed that visa on arrival of the Nigeria Immigration Service has been upgraded and made easier for those who intend to invest in Nigeria.
“In terms of visa on arrival, if you are coming into Nigeria, you have to apply first, and somebody has to recognise and acknowledge you in Nigeria. Sometime ago, we shut down the service in order to upgrade it. We carried out maintenance that will allow you to upload within the comfort of your house, your pictures, put all your documents in the system, pay online and when you pay online, we will be able to see it before you arrive here. And that makes the system seamless. But you know, most times, people want to come and start the process here, which is cumbersome and it will waste your quality time. So, with this visa on arrival, the systems are already waiting and also being in use. It will ease the problem of people coming, particularly the investors don’t want to stay for so long on the queue standing and waiting. The ambience of the place will also enable them to feel comfortable, and they will be processed faster,” Adesokan said.
She further explained that visa on arrival applicants go through serious screening by immigration officials and if the applicants meet the criteria, they are given visa on arrival and because of the new system at the E Arrival, MMIA, the applicants would spend less than 20 minutes before the would receive their visa because the process has been completed before their arrival.
She said that visa on arrival is strictly for businessmen who wish to invest in the country and also for expatriate with special skills who are needed by organisations in Nigeria.
“If you apply for a visa on arrival, we will check whether you have local objections, if there is no local objection, you are permitted. Not everybody is qualified for it. It is meant for investors, special professionals and others who meet similar criteria. We have categories whereby the Nigerian Immigration Service has spelt out conditions for visa on arrival. The first one is for business travellers who are moving and investors who want to come and invest in this nation. So if you don’t fall into these categories and you apply for it, you will be rejected and even if you are coming as a businessman, there are procedures, you have to upload your business CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) form, the company you want to meet here. That is, the company inviting you, If they do not have that, you are not expected to be granted approval,” she explained.
“Another category of those that could be given visa on arrival are citizens from some countries in Africa. These countries also give Nigeria visa on arrival and Nigeria reciprocates the gesture. Besides, there is a growing disposition to give Africans visa on arrival, those who meet other conditions in terms of security, good citizen record and others.
“The fourth category is the African nationals. Because we have an agreement under the previous administration that Africans who come to Nigeria can receive a visa on arrival. Those are the people who are qualified. They are on this automatic approval in the principle of reciprocity. Of course, those that belong to Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) can come to Nigeria without visa. Those are the people that qualify and they do that for us, too,” Adesokan said.
She insisted that there is upsurge of investors coming into Nigeria since the Tinubu administration, “because many foreigners are interested in investing in Nigeria because of the campaign the President has been mounting to canvass for more investment in Nigeria, which has taken him out of the country many times since he was sworn in.
“This year, since the advent of this new administration we have seen an upsurge of visa on arrival. We record an average of like 700 requests in a day. People have been coming in. We have seen people coming in; I think the president has been going to many nations, asking people to come and they have been responding.”
“So we saw that people are coming to explore; for example the German people they came. We have been receiving people coming into the country and I’m sure they are here for business purposes. That’s the surge we realized,” she said.
On the remodeled the ‘E Arrival ‘of the airport, Adesokan said it had the biggest capacity, more than the ‘D Arrival ‘and disclosed that the Nigeria Immigration Service initiated the plan to remodel the facility and collaborated with NNPC Limited and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO).
“This project was initiated by the Nigerian Immigration Service in collaboration with NNPC/ SNEPCO. They were there for us. We are partnering with them. Government cannot build a nation all by itself. So, collaborating in terms of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) with corporate bodies and organizations will be so helpful to build this nation. This nation is all ours and we need to do it rightly,” she added.
Source: ThisDay, 8th December 2024