The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has clarified that its visa clearance requirement is only applicable to Nigerians travelling to eight ‘source countries’ described as notorious for drug trafficking.
It named the countries as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Brazil, Pakistan, Philippines and Russia.
The agency also added that the policy, contrary to insinuations, has been around for 24 years.
The clarification was made in a statement by Femi Babafemi, NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, on Wednesday.
“The attention of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has been drawn to some misinformation and misconceptions about a 24-year-old visa clearance policy, which requires Nigerians travelling to some countries to meet certain requirements before getting clearance from the NDLEA.
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“The anti-drug law enforcement agency wishes to state as follows: that the policy was not newly created to impose levies on Nigerians travelling abroad, but has been in existence for over 24 years,” it read.
“The policy does not apply to all Nigerians seeking to travel overseas, but only those travelling to eight countries usually referred to as ‘source countries’.
“The countries include Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Brazil, Pakistan, Philippines and Russia. The policy is at the behest of the ‘source countries’, and not that of the NDLEA or Nigeria.
“It’s designed as part of global efforts to fight the menace of drug trafficking. The requirements for the visa clearance being mischievously circulated on social media are just a part of a three-page document, which provides other detailed information on the policy.
“Nigerians can rest assured that NDLEA remains committed to its core goal of ridding Nigeria of illicit drugs and will not deviate from its constitutionally-assigned duties.”