FG extends visa stay for foreign election observers

The federal government has acceded to a request by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the visa stay of foreigner observers affected by postponement of the general elections.

The visa fee of the foreign observers will also be waived to enable them stay for the extended polls.

INEC’s chairman, Professor Mahmood Yabuku, announced these during the daily update to stakeholders on the rescheduled polls on Thursday in Abuja.

According to him: “In order to make the processes easier, the Nigeria Immigration Service, working with the Commission, is granting extension of visa to all international observers who require such facility.

“Similarly, the Immigration Service is also granting re-entry visa to all observers who may wish to travel out of the country and return for the second part of the general election.

“In this regard, the service has also requested me to convey its decision to waive the visa fee and treat all such requests expeditiously.

“The extension of stay or re-entry into the country will be treated gratis. A special desk to handle those who wish to extend their stay as well as those travelling and coming back to Nigeria before 9th March 2019 has been set up at the Headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“Two immigration officers have been assigned to carry out the ad hoc assignment.

“On behalf of the Commission, I wish to extend our profound appreciation to the Nigeria Immigration Service for this initiative.”

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