After Eighteen (18) months of suspension of the biometric visa-on-arrival fee by the Nigeria Immigration Service, the agency has re-introduced the controversial charges.
According to a source by our correspondent on the late hours of Monday that the service have re-introduced the fee without publicity or informing impending travelers into the country of the new policy.
The fee is irrespective of the visa charges imposed on foreign travelers coming into the country, which varies from country to country.
Initially, when the same policy was first introduced on 25th June, 2018, it caused disarray at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and other international gateways across the Federation.
Apart from the Ninety Dollars ($90) fee, foreigners were also compelled to pay additional Twenty Dollars ($20) as service charge to the Federal Government through a concessionaire.
Further information by our correspondent shows that the new policy of $90 biometric did not exempt the countries that Nigeria already has gratis with, as their citizens are equally compelled to pay the sum.
These are countries where citizens don’t pay for visa fee before visiting Nigeria because of the reciprocity conformity between the two countries.
The countries that have gratis with Nigeria include; Mauritius, Barbados, Dominica, Fiji Island and Haiti.
On the current policy, our correspondent sighted the slip of a traveler scheduled to arrive Nigeria later in the week and the charges include application fee of $160 and transaction charges; $20, thereby bringing the total charges to $270 for each applicant.
Our correspondent tried reaching the Nigeria Immigration Service Spokesperson, Mr. Sunday James, but he didn’t respond to calls made to his mobile for comments by our correspondent.
It is assumed that the implementation of the biometric was contradictory to the policy of government, which stated free visas on travelers on arrival.
The source of this report purported that; Mr. Muhammed Babandede, the Comptroller-General of the NIS, would retire within the year and intentionally introduced the $90 as a “parting shot”.
It was further learnt that application of any foreign traveler, who didn’t pay the $90 biometric fee would not be approved by the Nigeria Immigration Service.
But unfortunately, the government has not looked into this matter. Majority of the travelers are not aware yet of this policy NIS came up with.
Some travelers are only aware of the visa-on-arrival policy that is they either fill the form online and make payment there or get approval from their various countries to make payment when they arrive Nigeria. Three machines are already for the biometric exercise by Nigeria Immigration Service.