Following the Executive Order on the ease of doing business in Nigeria, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos has increased its visa-issuing centers to two from one.
The Service has also improved on the immigration counters at the same airport from its initial three to eight.
A source close to the service told our correspondent yesterday that the immigration authorities in Abuja ordered the service at the airport to increase the counters to two in order to facilitate foreigners’ movement into the country and abolish the usual man hour loss due to immigration processes.
An investigation by Independent.ng's correspondent 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 policy came on stream in June.
The issuing of visas on arrival has reduced the number of foreigners going to the home offices of Nigeria abroad, as many of them now prefer to get their visas on arrival at the command.
A source close to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) also told our correspondent that the Comptroller General of Immigration, Mr. Muhammad Babandede, recently paid an unscheduled visit to the command to observe the implementation of the ease of doing business by the command and ordered them to improve their relationship with travellers at the command.
Also, as part of the monitoring scheme, the command has tagged the counters of all its personnel at the airport.
It was observed yesterday that each officer on duty has a removable tag placed against its counter while attending to arriving or departing passengers.
Independent.ng's correspondent, who visited the terminal, observed that all the counters for immigration processes for arriving passengers were tagged while the same was also done for outbound passengers.
FAAN’s source told our correspondent that Babandede ordered the latest move for proper identification of its officers especially those who have contact with passengers.
According to the source, NIS believed that with this move, it would be easier for passengers to properly identify any officer who requests for a bribe from them and take the necessary step to report such officer to superior officers.
The source said: “Immigration boss ordered all the officers to tag their counters to check against corruption in the system and also key into the ease of doing business policy of the Federal Government
“Personally, I would say it is a good development as it will check against low-level corruption among officers and also ease passenger facilitation.”