Nigeria: Consulate in South Africa to outsource issuance of visa
Lagos: The Nigerian Consulate in South Africa will soon outsource the issuance of visa to consultants. A source in the consulate told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Johannesburg on Monday on the condition of anonymity, that the consulate was still working on the process of outsourcing issuance of visa to credible consultants.
"Yes we are working on the possibility of outsourcing the issuance of Nigerian visas in South Africa to consultants. This will help in reducing the possibilities of visa racketeering involving our staff here and reducing the volume of people coming to the Consulate to procure Nigerian Visas.
"This is current trend in many missions. Even the South Africa High Commission in Nigeria outsource the issuance of their visas to consultants," the source said.
The Nigerian Consul-General, Mr Okey Emuchay had in November 2011, after the invasion of the consulate in Johannesburg by the South African Police Service (SAPS), said the issuance of Nigeria's visa would be outsourced in the first quarter of the year.
Some members of SAPS laid siege on the consulate and prevented movement of people in and out of the consulate on the claim that members of 12 Apostles Church in Christ were denied visas.
"From the first quarter of next year, we will embark on outsourcing of visa application process, but the final decision to issue visas still rests on the consulate.
"Within seven days of application, either the visa is issued or the applicants will get their passports from the consultant they submitted their passports to. With that, nobody needs to come here for visa anymore. That will eradicate the issue of visa racketeering," Emuchay said.
The source, however, said that the first quarter promised by the Consul-General might not be feasible. It said careful selection of the consultants would be required.
"The outsourcing is not feasible in the first quarter. There are lots of logistics required before that process can take off. We have to ensure that the consultants to be selected are competent to handle the task of handling visa applications. We don't want to rush into it and discover that those given the responsibilities are not competent.
"Not only that whatever we are doing here must get the approval of the Foreign Affairs Minister. Until the process is completed and approval is given, outsourcing of visa cannot take effect," it added.