GOVERANCE

Nigeria To Adopt Reciprocity In Visa Issuance- Minister

 

The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has announced that Nigeria will apply the principle of reciprocity in issuing visas to foreigners who want to visit the country.

This means that Nigeria will treat foreigners the same way their countries treat Nigerians who seek visas.

He also said that the government will introduce more stringent surveillance measures at the country’s borders to ensure security and prevent illegal migration.

The minister made these statements on Thursday at the Business Day Conference, which focused on funding for high impact social projects in Nigeria.

He said that Nigeria will no longer tolerate being treated with levity by other countries in terms of visa policy.

He said that he will receive a report on Friday that will outline the visa fees and conditions for each country, and Nigeria will apply the same fees and conditions to their citizens.

“On Wednesday, the director for the Center for Illegal Migration in Turkey, came to my office. And I told him in the next couple of weeks expect reciprocity in terms of travel policy.

“Any country that does not give me the visa on arrival cannot have visa on arrival in Nigeria. I’m sorry but it is the truth. We’re not a dumping ground. If you say you are useful, people will see you as being useful.

“But if you tell people you are useless, people will tell you why are you this useless. We want to partner with you and so on the table, we must be partners, we must be equal partners and our relationship of investment must be on the basis of the principle of reciprocity.

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“So we are doing that to all the countries in the world. The committee is working. I will receive the report tomorrow, you charge me $100 for a visa, I will charge you $100 for Nigerian visa.

“If you give me visa on arrival. I give it to you. If you say the condition for me to enter your country today is that I must have American visa, Schengen visa, UK visa etc, you will have the same conditions to enter my country. It is not fight, it is about the issue of mutual respect.

He added that his ministry is very important for the nation, beyond passport issues. He said that his performance as a minister will be based on how he handles the needs of the weak and vulnerable in the society.

He said, “The credibility of performance of every government has to be based only on the evaluation of how the government handles the weakest in the society. The essence of government is not just to protect the strong but to make up and amplify the needs of the weak.”

“That is why when we came I realized that. I tell people, I do not carry the burden of performance just for myself and my family, I carry the burden of performance for my generation.

“And it is important that every youth in government must understand that. The performance of a youth in government will only open the doors for others. The non performance will just bring us the normal Nigeria mantra, “You see dem, dem no know anything.” It’s time for us when we find ourselves in office, we have to understand.

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“I always said this, my father didn’t give me the Nigeria of my dream. Yes, but that is not an excuse for me not to give my children the Nigeria of their dream.

“It means the responsibility of transition from where we are to where we want to be, cannot forever be laid at the doorsteps of yesteryears, it has to be laid on our own doorstep.

“The Ministry of Interior, for anybody who understands governance, is very integral in any nation beyond passport. When my old students association hosted me on Friday last week, I said I don’t want to be remembered as the Minister that solved the passport problem because there are bigger things to be solved.”

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