The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede has said that Nigerians in Diaspora who are unable to travel back to Nigeria as a result of expired passports due to pandemic-related closure of some Nigerian missions abroad, can now travel home.
According to Leadership Newspaper, Babandede stated this during a recent press chat at NIS office in Abuja.
Babandede said Nigerians who fall under this category should apply to the Comptroller General of Immigration for approval and clearance before travelling. He added that Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola had approved the opening of three front offices at Abuja, Kano and Lagos International Airports for that purpose.
He made it known that NIS is working with Central Bank of Nigeria and the Attorney-General of the Federation’s office to tackle the technical issues hindering the smooth transition of passport renewals for Nigerians who reside in France, UK, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia and countries with stringent COVID lockdown protocols.
Also, Babandede addressed other immigration issues like increase in fake marriages between Nigerian women and foreigners—who aim to bypass resident permits payment.
He said a partnership between NIS and the Federal Inland Revenue Service was in place to ensure foreigners in Nigeria are properly taxed.
While talking further, he said visa on arrival should be applied for by individuals only and not companies that serve as agents, and that the newly decentralized Passport Express Processing Centre that was launched in Abuja would ease delays in passport issuance and create new jobs.
For Nigerians abroad who desire to travel with expired passports, inquiries on how to apply for the Comptroller General’s approval can be made through the NIS website.