In compliance with the federal government’s executive order on the ease of doing business in the country, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) command at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport has increased its visa issuing centres from one to two and immigration counters from three to eight.
A source at the airport told newsgazette.com.ng that NIS authorities in Abuja approved the increase in the number of counters to facilitate foreigners’ movement into the country and abolish the usual man hour loss due to cumbersome processes.
Investigation revealed that visas are now issued to foreigners on arrival at both E and D wings of the airport from its initial D wing while no fewer than 20, 000 visas have been issued at the airport since the order was issued last June.
The source also said that issuing visas on arrival had reduced the number of foreigners going to the Nigerian embassies and high commissions abroad as many of them now prefer to get their visas on arrival at the command.
It was further gathered that the Comptroller General of Immigration, Mr. Muhammad Babandede paid an unscheduled visit to the command recently to observe the implementation of the ease of doing business.
He was said to have harped on the need for the officers to improve its relationship with air travellers.
Also, as part of the monitoring scheme, the command has tagged the counters of all its personnel at the airport.
It was gathered that each officer on duty has removable tag pasted on his counter.
It was gathered that the comptroller general ordered tagging for proper identification of NIS officers, especially those who have contact with passengers.
Newsgazette.com.ng who visited the terminal observed that all the counters for immigration processes for arriving passengers were tagged while the same was done for outbound passengers.
“NIS believes that with this move, it would be easier for passengers to properly identify any officer who requests for bribe from them and take the necessary step to report such officer to superior officers.
“The immigration wants to check corruption in the system and also key to the federal government’s ease of doing business policy.
“Personally, I would say it is a good development as it will check low level corruption among officers and also ease passenger facilitation,” said the source.