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Turkish embassy refutes visa ban reports on Nigerians

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The Turkish Embassy in Nigeria on Saturday confirmed that there is no visa ban on Nigerian passport holders, dispelling reports that have raised concern.

Reports surfaced on Thursday suggesting that Ethiopia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates had revoked certain privileges for Nigerian passport holders, such as visa-on-arrival, e-visa, and outright passport issues.

Specifically, Turkey no longer allows Nigerian passport holders to obtain its e-visa, which was previously a seamless process.

Despite these changes, the Personal Secretary to the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Wunmi Evelyn, clarified in a chat with The PUNCH, “There is no visa ban on Nigerian passport holders.

“As it is well-known, if there will be any update regarding rules and procedures of the policies and practices of any country, these updates are officially notified to the respective foreign ministries, and statements/announcements are issued by the embassies”.

Visa applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, the secretary explained, addressing specific instances where applicants faced rejections.

“While every application has been considered as case by case, for an applicant who has previously been denied a visa, (if there is not any fraud or forged documents detected) he/she should correct the mistakes that have been made in his/her initial application and try to improve the quality of his/her application. Besides, he/she should update the documentation and refrain from supplying old versions of required supporting documents”, she added.

This clarification came following the ranking of Nigeria’s passport among the world’s least powerful, according to the Henley Passport Index.

In 2023, Nigeria was ranked 90th globally, allowing visa-free admission to only 46 out of 227 destinations.

Despite being Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria’s passport is the fifth-worst in Africa, tied with South Sudan, and only ahead of Congo, Eritrea, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia.

When the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Eche Abu-Ode was contacted on the issue, he said, “I will confirm and revert”.

However, as of the time of filing this report, he had yet to revert.

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