ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The Federal Government of Nigeria has unveiled a significant change in its visa issuance policy, revealing its intention to adopt the principle of reciprocity for foreign nationals seeking entry into Nigeria.
This announcement was made by the Minister of Interior, Olabunmi Tunji-Ojo, during the “Nigeria Forward: Catalysing Funding for High Impact Social Projects” conference, which centered ajlround the theme “Funding for Change: Building Bridges for a Resilient Nigeria.”
Minister Tunji-Ojo detailed that the new policy will involve treating foreigners in a manner that aligns with how Nigerians are treated by their respective countries when seeking visas.
The Federal Government of Nigeria also plans to enhance surveillance measures at the country’s borders to regulate and ensure the safety of individuals entering and departing Nigeria.
The minister emphasized that the days of Nigerians facing discrimination from other countries in visa issuance are behind us, as the current administration aims to foster a more balanced approach based on the principles of reciprocity.
He underlined that this approach is designed to create a sense of give and take.
Regarding the principle of reciprocity, he cited a conversation he had with the director of Turkey’s Centre for Illegal Migration, stating that countries should anticipate reciprocity in their travel policies.
He stressed that Nigeria will no longer serve as a one-way gateway and affirmed that mutual respect is the fundamental aspect of this approach.
Minister Tunji-Ojo also clarified that the intent is not to open the doors to Nigeria’s entire population but to establish a framework that values mutual respect in visa policies.
The minister stated that if a Nigerian is charged $100 for a visa, the country will also charge $100 for a Nigerian visa.
He noted, “If you give me a visa on arrival, I will give it to you. If you say the condition for me to enter your country today is that I must have an American visa, Schengen visa, UK visa, etc, you will have the same conditions to enter my country. It is not a fight; it is about the issue of mutual respect.”