Posted by News Express | 1 February 2022 | 537 times
By OLADELE ENIOLA
Thousands of visa applicants on Monday besieged Lagos offices of VFS Global, United Kingdom (UK) Visa Application Centre, following resumption of visa application processing by the British mission.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that UK government had suspended walk-in service for visa applicants in Nigeria citing safety concerns.
NAN correspondent who visited the visa application centres at Maryland and Lekki areas of Lagos reports that there were long queues of visa applicants waiting to be served.
Some of the applicants, who spoke to NAN, expressed excitement at the resumption of visa applications.
Mr Tobi Odunlabi, a student visa applicant, told NAN that he arrived at the centre very early to beat the multitude of applicants.
“I have been at the centre since 5.00 a.m. and when I came here, I still met some people who were here before me and this shows you the eagerness in people.
“I am applying for a student visa as I want to go for my masters in the UK so hopefully, I hope that my visa would be accepted based on merit.
“This is the first time I’m applying so I really hope that I’m given the visa as I have spent a lot to get to this point,” he said.
Another applicant, Miss Elizabeth John-Mark, revealed that she is applying for a short visit to the UK.
“As soon as I heard that the UK has resumed applications for visa, I was so excited because I have been looking for a place to spend my vacation.
“I got here as early as 7.00 a.m. and I was shocked and surprised to see the queue so I obviously came late because I meant so many people here.
“With the amount of people that are here, I really wonder what time I would be attended too,” she said.
Mr Tokunbo Akano, a father of three, lamented the process in applying for a visa in the country.
“This whole place is just chaotic as this isn’t any proper agreement on how things and we are on queues that barely move.
“I mean applying for visa shouldn’t be this stressful but everything is always different when it comes to our matter, they should be able to provide a proper sit out for applicants.
“We can’t be under the sun for hours and it isn’t certain that your goal for the day would be achieved,” he said.
Meanwhile, petty trading was thriving around the visa processing centre as applicants were seen patronising vendors who thronged the area.
Mrs Atinuke Majoegbe, a food vendor, told NAN that patronage has been on the rise since the resumption of visa application at the centre.
“When visa application was suspended, it had an effect on my business as patronage was very low because it is the people that usually come for visa applications that patronise the most.
“I was so delighted when visa application resumed and ever since then, there have been high patronage
“I’m just hoping that business can remain like this and there shouldn’t be any form of disruption,” she said.
Mr Kunle Adesanya, a cybercafe operator, expressed excitement as the number of people who patronise his business had increased.
“Due to the rush since they just resumed, I have being overwhelmed by the amount of people that have things to do in the business centre.
“This situation is actually good for business and I hope such can be a daily routine because it isn’t usually like this as business can be slow at times,” he said.
Mrs Jumoke Lawal, a soft drink vendor, noted that business has been booming.
“Due to the high numbers of people applying for visa, my business has been pretty good because most of them buy drinks from me so I’m really excited about this development,” she said. (NAN)
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