While many Nigerians may have known visa fees of different European and American countries, not many take interest in what the country charges other nationals for the document.
But the fact is that the Nigerian Immigration Service has a long list of the fees on its website, indicating clearly the differences in terms of countries, the visa type and number of entries.
If what the NIS displays on the website is anything to go by, nationals of Mauritania, Monaco, Morroco, New Zealand, Panama, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Burma, Dominican, Chile and Colombia are charged between N100 and N 200 for a single-entry Nigerian visa. For those applying for multiple entries, the fee is multiplied by the number of entries they are seeking.
Weighed against the current exchange rate, it implies that a Nigerian visa is still going for half a dollar or a little above that.
Applicants from the United States are charged the highest. They pay N14,000 for either a single or multiple-entry visa.
Russia and other former members of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics are next to the US, and a visa application from the region attracts N10,500.
A traveller from the United Kingdom, who is applying for a single-entry Nigerian visa, pays N9,700, whereas a multiple-visa applicant is charged N16,200.
Interestingly, UK nationals picking up temporary employment in Nigeria pay N9,700, which is less than what their multiple-visa counterparts are charged.
A British woman married to a Nigerian has the option of obtaining an “indefinite” visa at N40,800, according to the NIS’s fee schedule.
Most European countries, such as Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Belgium and Spain, pay a little above N6,000 for a single-visa application. Multiple-entry visa application fee in most of the listed countries is N9,000 plus.
Based on the fact that the immigration service deals with many people in different parts of the world, it is expected that the facts presented on its website are valid as this is a major platform where potential visitors to Nigeria can access it.
Many Nigerian establishments have, however, yet to embrace online operation as an essential part of their corporate integrity. Hence, what such organisations, especially federal ministries, departments and agencies, tag new information are, in some cases, one or more years stale.
Even the NIS is not free from the practice, which visitors find worrisome. For instance, what the Service calls “news”, as of Sunday, is a notice of a recruitment exercise examination that was to be held on March 15, 2014 in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
Also, a document by the Service says it has in the past 10 years cancelled no fewer than 1,288 passports.
But an Internet search by our correspondent shows that the list has not been upgraded since August 2013 when it was uploaded despite a promise that it would be “updated regularly.” This is apart from the fact no reason is given for the cancelation. This, indeed, leaves visitors in the dark as to the number of the ‘green-back’ that have been cancelled in the past two years.
An online document obtained from the NIS portal on Sunday also says it started compiling the list in 2005. There is nothing anywhere on the site to show the updated status of the two-year-old document.