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Nigeria to unveil new visa regime this year – Official

The Comptroller General (CGI) of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, says the federal government plans to introduce a new visa regime to boost the economy.

Mr Babandede said this at the 2019 dinner and award night organised by the service in Abuja.

He added that the new visa regime will be unveiled by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, before the end of 2019.

He said that the regime would put Nigeria in line with global practice adding that the system would be transparent and that security would not be compromised.

“The e-visa policy will encourage investors to Nigeria thereby generating Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for Nigeria and making Nigeria a most preferred destination through transparency in administration and facilitation of facilities by service.

“I assure you that it will be transparent and we will remove cash payment and ensure no security is compromised.

“It is a balance between facilitation, transparency and protection of national security,” he said.

Mr Babandede assured that the service would deliver on its mandate by em-placing efficient border security and migration management to strengthen Nigeria’s security architecture in 2020.

He commended the team who was recognised for developing software for officers to take e- examinations.

“As you are aware, we are a regimented institution. We have done all we can in 2019 by dismissing officers for corruption, absenteeism, reduction of ranks of officers and investigating those who took money from applicants or ordinary Nigerians illegally.

“So having worked tirelessly, we should dedicate a day to commend those who have served well and this would also serve as an example to others so they can follow the part.

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“Governance is not about punishing people every day. It is also about rewarding and bridging gaps between officers and men by coming together, dining, dancing and rejoicing,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the awardees were drawn from all commands of the NIS and were recognised for gallantry, bravery, resourcefulness and expertise in the course of their duties in 2019.

The Comptroller General also received an award presented to him by the Interior Minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ekeoma-Ehuria.
(NAN)

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