The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammed Babandede, has warned that foreign visitors who failed to present their COVID-19 test certificate risk having their visas revoked.
He disclosed this at the weekly briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja on Tuesday.
Babandede said he possessed the right as enshrined in the Immigration Act to revoke visas and confiscate passports of offenders, emphasizing the importance of the Covid-19 test certificate which he referred to as the next visa for global travel.
He further explained that the 100 travellers under a travel ban for flouting the mandatory seven-day post-arrival COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction test could not obtain fresh passports or compromise the NIS officers because the system was automated and could not be bypassed or manipulated.
“The public health is a big issue in the country and based on that directives, we have complied by blocking 100 passports from travelling, which means, even if they go to the police and declare those passports missing, they cannot be reissued anywhere in the world and they cannot cross our national borders until the period of six months or communication received from the right authorities stating that they have complied”, he said.
He added that the policy also applied to non-Nigerians, therefore, the additional conditions for entering the country was that every visitor must have the COVID-19 test result.
“This will also include non-Nigerians; we have the powers to revoke visas, the comptroller-general has the power to revoke visas.”
He stressed that the lack of compliance with COVID-19 regulations was a threat to public health and for this reason, travellers must comply.
“Please comply, immigration has no business with anybody, we are implementing the directives handed down to us. You must have evidence of payment.
“If you do the test, it means you have complied, if you have not done the test, it means you have violated the condition of entering the country; your visa will be revoked,” he said.
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