Senate summons Aregbesola over visa on arrival policy
The Senate on Tuesday summoned Nigeria’s interior minister Rauf Aregbosola over the government’s decision to award visas to African nationals on arrival to the country.
Aregbesola is expected to appear before the Senate alongside Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Muhammed Babandede.
The lawmakers resolved to summon the government officials on the policy after Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi said it was wrong for the executive to implement the policy without legislative input.
Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, December 12 announced that the country will commence visa issuance to carriers of African countries passports from January 2020.
“Nigeria is committed to supporting the free movement of Africans within Africa,” Buhari said at the ASWAN Forum in Egypt.
“Nigeria will commence issuance of visas at the point of entry into Nigeria, to all persons holding passports of African countries.”
Since its announcement, the policy was criticised by government opposition as part of Buhari’s agenda to ‘Islamise’ and expose the country to more security threats.
But the spokesman of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Sunday James said the government’s visa on arrival policy was not to victimise an ethnic or religious group in the country.
“How is it even possible for such rumours to be true? It is even unthinkable that people can reason like this.”
“What are those so-called Africans from the said Muslim countries coming to do?” he queried.
James said the visa on arrival policy is one of government’s effort to accelerate African integration reduce barriers to free movement within the continent.