BEVERLY HILLS, March 25, (THEWILL) – The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has raised concerns over reported non-refundable N10,000 special charges on Nigerians seeking Visa Clearance to certain countries by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
In a statement on Thursday by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP Delta), said it is not against any genuine Visa Clearance measures, especially those placed to curb drug trafficking and other criminal tendencies, but is concerned about policies such as fees, that tend to place undue pressure on innocent citizens.
The lawmakers in response to the apprehensions and anxieties raised by Nigerians, therefore urges the NDLEA to take steps that will lead to an immediate review of the non-refundable fee to an affordable amount, while putting the measure to adequately sensitise Nigerians on the issue.
This is especially as the contentious fee is reported to be at the behest of the “source countries” and not NDLEA and Nigeria.
The caucus urges Nigerians to remain calm and focused in the collective global fight against trafficking in illicit drugs and other drug-related criminality.
The NDLEA, in a statement on Wednesday by the Director, Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, had clarified that the visa clearance policy requirement is only meant for persons travelling to eight countries described as ‘Source Countries’ notorious for drugs trafficking.
According to the statement, the policy was not “newly created to impose levies on Nigerians travelling abroad, but has been in existence for over 24 years.
“The policy does not apply to all Nigerians seeking to travel overseas, but only those travelling to eight countries usually referred to as ‘source countries’.
“The countries include Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Brazil, Pakistan, Philippines and Russia.
The policy is at the behest of the ‘source countries’, and not that of the NDLEA or Nigeria.
“It’s designed as part of global efforts to fight the menace of drug trafficking. The requirements for the visa clearance being mischievously circulated on social media are just a part of a three-page document, which provides other detailed information on the policy.
“Nigerians can rest assured that NDLEA remains committed to its core goal of ridding Nigeria of illicit drugs and will not deviate from its constitutionally-assigned duties.”