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CNN correspondent criticizes Nigerian govt over visa charges

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A correspondent for CNN, Larry Madowo, has taken to social media to express his frustration with the Nigerian government’s visa charges, highlighting discrepancies in fees compared to other African countries.

In his post on LinkedIn, Madowo stated, “Nigeria just charged me $215 for a 1-month, single entry visa. Again. I was here 3 weeks ago – paid the same $215. This is actually my 3rd time in Nigeria this year, so they have made $645 from me in 2024 alone.”

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He further criticized the additional charges imposed by Nigeria, saying, “The visa itself costs $25 but Nigeria charges a $20 ‘processing fee’ and $170 for biometrics every time. My fingerprints haven’t changed since I was here 3 weeks ago, why am I paying $170 to have them taken and to pose for a picture each time I visit?”

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Madowo questioned the viability of a borderless Africa and the promise of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) when African countries impose high visa fees on visitors. He compared his experiences in Nigeria to other African nations like Ghana, South Africa, and Uganda, where entry is free for Kenyan passport holders.

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He further lamented the visa application process, equating Nigeria’s visa-on-arrival system to Kenya’s Electronic Travel Authorization, which often involves lengthy waits for approval or additional fees for expedited processing.

Expressing his love for Nigeria, Madowo emphasized his disappointment with the visa situation, describing it as excessive and questioning why Africans still require visas to travel within Africa.

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