Free visa for election observers
By Naomi Sharang
As Nigerians go to the polls for the presidential and national assembly contest, the Federal Government has approved visa fee waiver for accredited observers and monitors of the elections.
The Comptroller-General Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr Muhammad Babandede, said in a statement in Abuja.
He said that the waiver was sequel to the re-scheduling of the general elections to Saturday for Presidential and National Assembly, from Feb. 16, and March 9 for Governorship and House of Assembly, from March 2.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gave logistics and operational problems as reasons for shifting the polls.
Babandede said that waiver was in consideration of the plight of accredited observers and monitors who were caught-up by the re-scheduled elections.
He urged all affected individuals and organisations wishing to extend their stay or travel back to their countries and return for the next elections to visit NIS Visa Desk at INEC Headquarters.
“The desk officers will attend to those requiring extension of their visas issued Gratis (No Fee Charge).
“This provision became necessary to afford those affected, the opportunity to travel out or return without violating the immigration provisions that relates to entry and exit with valid visa and document.”