The British High Commission in Nigeria has stated that the proposed visa application bond scheme is not in existence. Nigerians have thus been called upon not to be anxious for nothing.
Addressing newsmen yesterday in Lagos at the Solar for Security and Renewable Energy exhibition organised by a UK firm, Solar and Electric Gates Limited, in partnership with a Nigerian firm, YOMADEK Global Networks Limited, the Deputy British High Commissioner, Mr. Peter Carter, said no decision has been taken by British government on any form of visa bond.
According to him, “Nigerians absolutely do not need to be apprehensive about visa bonds first and foremost, because they do not exist.
“If such a scheme were to be introduced, it will be limited to very small number of visa applicants, who in other circumstances might have their application refused – visa applicants who are judged to present a high risk that they would break the term of the visa.”
Carter noted that the commission receives over 180,000 visa applications a year and grants over 125,000 visa applications. “Overwhelming majority of Nigerian travellers will not be apprehensive even if the visa bond scheme was introduced, but for now, such scheme does not exists,” he said.
Commenting on the prisoner swap policy, Carter said that Nigeria and the British government are discussing the possibility of allowing Nigerians in British prisons serve their sentences at home.
“Those negotiations continue because the British government wants to see them concluded, because we believe it is both in the interest of the UK and Nigeria,” he said. “It makes good sense for foreign prisoners to return to their countries to serve their terms.”
Meanwhile, he advocated the use of solar energy to address insecurity in the country, as he noted that the exhibition focused at creating solutions, particularly in the security sector, where Nigeria needs not only security of power supply but also absolute security.
“One of the innovations in the technology on show here is the ability of solar panels to store energy in battery that can then be used when the sun is out. This guarantees the usage of the security facility whether it is connected to the electricity grid or not,” he said.
“United Kingdom Trade and Investment work very closely with British companies and Nigerian authorities both at federal and state levels to identify areas where British expertise can be made available to Nigeria to alleviate problems and allow companies to develop and expand successfully.
“We will start visiting some states in Nigeria specifically to understand their needs and how British industries and investment can help to address the issues.”