The federal government yesterday launched harmonized departure and arrival cards at the Kaduna International Airport, as it began the service of alternate airport to Abuja, which was shut down at midnight on Wednesday.
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Abdulrahman Danbazau, accompanied by the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, explained that the harmonized departure/arrival cards for international passengers was done in line with international best practices and in pursuit of the federal government policy of ease of doing business.
To facilitate seamless access for international investors, the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) is also introducing visa on arrival at the airport for those “who have serious business to do in the country.”
Danbazau said the departure/ arrival cards are also intended to keep records of movement of international passengers and the process of mandate for travelers for security reasons.
The international passengers are expected to fill the departure/arrival cards, which contain passenger profile, address and other personal details in one harmonized form.
“Pursuant to this, non-Nigerians are expected to fill both the departure/arrival cards while Nigerians are expected to fill only departure cards. These cards are scanned and stored in a data bank that is to be shared with relevant stakeholders and in that regard, a unique identity and travel records of passengers are secured,” Danbazau said. On the visa on arrival initiative, he said: “Soon we shall start issuing visas on arrival at this airport for genuine expatriates and investors who come to do business in the country.”
He said the federal government has chosen the Kaduna International Airport “to formally introduce this unique security document to the travelling public.”
“The introduction of this card replaces the multiplicity of cards that hitherto existed and has taken care of the interest of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigeria. Customs Service, Port Health Services, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and others,” he said.
Dambazau added that this would go a long way to reduce the cumbersome and multiplicity of forms for travellers and enhance the ease of doing business in the long run.