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FG to adopts Visa Reciprocity, Tightens Border security

The federal government announced a new approach of issuing visa for foreigners and tourist visiting Nigeria with emphasis on the principle of reciprocity.

Under this policy, Nigeria will extend visa treatment to foreign visitors that aligns with the treatment Nigerians receive when applying for visas in those respective countries.

This change in approach signifies a departure from the previous laxity in how Nigerians were treated by some countries when applying for visas. The government is now committed to a more balanced and equitable practice, characterized by mutual respect and cooperation.

In addition to visa reciprocity, the government is taking steps to enhance border security with stringent surveillance measures to monitor the movement of people in and out of the country.

Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, made these announcements during the Business Day Conference, titled "Nigeria Forward: Catalyzing Funding for High Impact Social Projects." The event's theme, "Funding for Change: Building Bridges for a Resilient Nigeria," explained the importance of seeking support for initiatives that address vulnerability and uplift the most marginalized individuals within the country.

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.

“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 dreams.

“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.”

On the principle of reciprocity, he said: “Yesterday (Wednesday), the director of the centre for Illegal Migration in Turkey, came to my office. And I told him that 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 a 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.

“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 a Nigerian visa.

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