The visa reciprocity increment announced 2 days ago by the US Mission Nigeria, for Nigerians, has prompted a policy review by the Ministry of Interior. According to the statement from the office of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, captioned: FG Decreases Visa Charges Payable by US Citizens in Line with Reciprocity Policy.
The Ministry of Interior had engaged the US Embassy as soon as the announcement was made, and a committee was set up to conduct due diligence in line with the Ministry’s extant policy on reciprocity of Visa fees.
The outcome of the “due diligence” conducted by the committee was approval of decrease of Visa charges payable by US citizens.
And the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, has been directed to implement the decision of the committee effective Thursday, August 29, 2019. That means that US citizens can now pay $160 as Nigerian visa fee.
The decision of the Ministry of Interior to review downward, the fees of Americans citizens applying for Nigeria visas has been applauded. However, it beckons on the US Government to reverse their decision. The reciprocity policy was introduced by the US Government in 2018, and Nigeria was duly informed.
But the Ministry of Interior was too slow to act on the US Government’s letter until their decision to reciprocate was announced on Wednesday.
However, there are other concerns: the duration of Nigerian tourist visa for Americans is 2 years, while Ghana and South Africa issue the Americans 5 – 10 years tourist visas; and get the same in return. It is a situation that has reciprocated 2 years tourist visas for Nigerians also.
Concerned Nigerians are asking the Ministry of Interior to do a thorough review of the visa process as it affects Nigeria and other countries, especially developed countries.
The US government is yet to respond to the decision of the Ministry of Interior. However, there is hope that it will be reciprocated as well.