Journalism of Courage

Visa On Arrival: Senate summons Aregbesola, Babandede over policy


The Senate, on Tuesday, summoned the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbosola, and the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Muhammed Babandede, to appear before its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on the visa on arrival policy for Africans visiting Nigeria.

The Senate summoned Aregbosola and Babandede to explain details of the the new policy introduced by the Federal government.

The lawmakers argued that the policy, which President Muhammadu Buhari announced will come into effect from January 2020, is in furtherance of the continental free trade agreement which needs to be domesticated, and asked the President to send the Immigration Act for amendment.

Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi who cited Orders 42 & 52, moved a motion on the urgent need to seek domestication of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) by Act of the National Assembly.

The motion was also supported by Senators Basiru Ajibola, Enyinnaya Abaribe.

Also speaking, Senator Gabriel Suswam, noted that the house legislate on the policy before it is implemented.

He said: “Let them bring the Immigration Act to amend so as to put this into consideration. The motion is in order and the President should send the Immigration Act for us to amend.”

In a similar view, Senator Ibikunle Amosun noted: “What this motion is trying to do is just to perfect what Mr. President has done. Since we have signed the ACFTA, I think the next thing to do is to domesticate it.

“I want to strongly support that we ask the Executive to bring a Bill so that we can support what they want to do.”

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, explained that Nigeria has signed other treaties and agreements, as he urged the Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to forward the agreement to the National Assembly for ratification.

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