Posted by News Express | 2 May 2021 | 751 times
Despite the outbreak of a deadly variant of COVID-19 in major cities in India, many Nigerians are still jostling to get visas to the South Asian country.
Findings revealed that the consular department of the Indian High Commission was still receiving a huge number of applications from prospective Nigerian travellers.
One of our correspondents, who was at the Indian High Commission in Abuja during the week, saw many Nigerians waiting at the consular department for interviews.
It was also observed the consular staff taking the biometrics of visa applicants while many Nigerian passports were seen lying on the desks awaiting the attention of consular officials.
The number of applications received by the mission could not be immediately ascertained.
But a consular officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the high commission was very strict with granting visas on account of the outbreak of the deadly variant of COVID-19 which has claimed thousands of lives in India.
The officer said, “We are surprised that many Nigerians are still coming for visas despite the COVID-19 deaths in India. Many of them claimed they were going for business or tourism but we are giving visas only to those with medical emergencies.
“Some of the applicants do not seem to have genuine reasons for travelling to India at this point in time, so we are enforcing strict rules in granting visas. Only those travelling for medical reasons stand great chances of getting our visa.”
When asked about the likely importation of the mutant COVID-19 from India, the spokesperson for the Nigeria Immigration Service, Sunday James, said, “The Nigeria Immigration Service is doing everything possible to ensure that all protocols on COVID-19 are followed at the nation’s entry points.
“We are also committed to ensuring that all those who do not report as stipulated in the protocols will have their passports revoked.” (Sunday PUNCH)
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