Nigeria is currently the only African country issuing biometric visa, according to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Abubakar Magaji.
Magaji stated this at the 2017 End-of-Year Dinner and Award Night of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), in Abuja.
Representing the Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), at the occasion, he said the biometric visa was one of the outstanding achievements of the NIS in 2017.
“I want to congratulate the officers and men of the Service, especially the awardees, and to tell you that we are proud of you.
“You have done an excellent job this year. You have won an excellent award of the ease of doing business.
“You have made us proud because at this moment, Nigeria is the only country in Africa that is issuing biometric visa.
“It started this year, but we have already launched it. I know the biometric visa is going to block many people that we don’t want to come to Nigeria,” he said.
While urging the agency to do more in the coming year, Magaji assured it of the continued support of the ministry, which supervises the NIS.
Reeling out other achievements of the NIS, Chairperson of the event planning committee, Mrs Edith Onyemenam, said it was one of the first federal agencies to implement the Presidential Executive Orders issued earlier in the year.
Onyemenam, a Comptroller of Immigration, said the NIS was also the first agency to be awarded the Presidential Impact Award in recognition of its contribution to the country’s ease of doing business.
She said the introduction of online pre-approval for Visa on Arrival, contributed greatly to the country’s improvement in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking from 169th to 145th position.
In his address, the Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr Mohammed Babandede, described 2017 as a wonder year for the NIS.
“We achieved a lot not because I am the best or that I can work hard. Neither was it because I am intelligent. It is because I am lucky to have a good team.
“I am glad to say that Immigration Service has written its name in gold. We have been able to become one of the best.
“We have done the best training this year that has never been done in the history of Immigration service.
“We have trained officers in every training institution. I think we will do more,” Babandede said.
He congratulated the award recipients, who he said were selected through a transparent process, and urged them to do more.