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Federal Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, cautioning Nigerians holding the passports of countries that do not allow dual citizenship against illegally applying for the Nigerian e-passport, while speaking in Tokyo/Photo: Federal Ministry of Interior

Nigeria to grant citizens holding foreign passports multiple entry visas – Minister

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has cautioned Nigerians holding the passports of countries that do not allow dual citizenship against illegally applying for the Nigerian e-passport, The Punch newspaper has reported.

The minister was quoted as making the call while speaking at the Nigerian Embassy in Tokyo on Friday (22 November) during the rollout of the e-passport in Japan.

The minister told Nigerian-Japanese who have accepted Japanese citizenship that a new visa regime that would grant them multiple entries into Nigeria up to the validity of their Japanese passports would commence soon.

“I am aware that Japan does not accept dual citizenship, although Nigeria does. Because of this, I urge every Nigerian who has renounced his or her Nigerian citizenship not to apply for the e-passport at this centre or anywhere,” Aregbesola was quoted as saying.

Minister Rauf Aregbesola inaugurating the Nigeria E-Passport and Visa facility at the Nigerian embassy in Tokyo. He’s flanked by Alhaji Gana Yisa, Nigerian ambassador to Japan (right) and Muhammed Babandede, the Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration /Photo: Federal Ministry of Interior

 

“I will like to assure those Nigerian-Japanese who have accepted Japanese citizenship that a new visa regime that will grant them multiple entries into Nigeria up to the validity of their Japanese passports will commence soon.”

The minister, who is the immediate former governor of Osun State, said the Federal Government had received several requests from both the Nigerian community and the Nigerian Embassy in Japan on the need to open a passport issuance centre in Tokyo hence the inauguration of the centre, which issues both e-passports and biometric visas.

The minister on Saturday (23 November) also opened another e-passport and biometric visa centre in the country’s embassy in Seoul, South Korea, “bringing to a total of 44 foreign missions, 43 local and four front offices where Nigeria Immigration Service issues passports to our citizens”.

The first Nigerian to be issued an e-passport at the new centre in Tokyo proudly displays the document flanked by Alhaji Gana Yisa, Nigerian ambassador to Japan (far left); Minister Aregbesola (2nd from left); and Muhammed Babandede, the Comptroller General of  Nigerian Immigration /Photo: Federal Ministry of Interior

 

Aregbesola disclosed that the biometric visa was an improved security on the current vignette visa, noting that it would assist the national security agencies in combating transnational organized crime.

 “It is important to state that this new visa and passport regime connects with MIDAS (Migration Information and Data Analysis System) which is linked with the INTERPOL data. This simply means criminals and their affiliates can no longer use our system anywhere in the world to perpetrate their crimes,” he added

The minister was accompanied on his visit to Japan and South Korea by top officials of the Ministry of the Interior, including the Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration, Muhammed Babandede.

Austin Ohaegbu

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