On 19 December 2017, at the 2017 End-of-Year Dinner and Award Night of the Nigeria Immigration Service in Abuja Nigeria, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior – Abubakar Magaji – revealed that the country has started issuing biometric visas, which have been designed to effectively block people that should not enter the country.
Magaji was representing the Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau, at the event.
“Nigeria is the only country in Africa that is issuing biometric visas. It started this year, but we have already launched it. I know the biometric visa is going to block many people that we don’t want to come to Nigeria,” he said.
While urging the agency to do more in the coming year, Magaji assured it of the continued support of the ministry that supervises the NIS. The Chairperson of the event planning committee, Mrs. Edith Onyemenam, said it was one of the first federal agencies to implement the Presidential Executive Orders issued earlier in the year.
Onyemenam, a Comptroller of Immigration, said the introduction of online pre-approval for Visa on Arrival contributed greatly to the country’s improvement in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking from 169th to 145th position.