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CNN Correspondent Condemns $215 Visa Fee in Nigeria, Calls for Borderless Africa

“Shege pro Max”:CNN reporter condemn Nigeria’s $215 visa fee
Larry Madowo

CNN correspondent Larry Madowo criticizes Nigeria’s $215 visa fee, advocating for a more accessible visa system to promote regional integration in Africa.

Larry Madowo, an International Correspondent for Cable News Network (CNN), has raised concerns over the exorbitant visa fees imposed by Nigeria, calling for a more accessible and affordable visa regime to promote the vision of a borderless Africa.

In a statement shared on his LinkedIn account on Monday, Madowo expressed frustration over the hefty $215 visa fee he was required to pay each time he visited Nigeria, despite holding a Kenyan passport which grants visa-free access to several African countries.

According to Madowo, the $215 visa fee comprises a $25 visa cost, a $20 processing fee, and a staggering $170 biometrics capturing fee. He criticized the redundancy of paying for biometrics and processing fees for multiple visits within a short period, questioning the necessity of such charges.

The CNN reporter highlighted the stark contrast between Nigeria’s visa policy and those of other African nations, emphasizing the burden placed on travelers and hindrances to achieving a borderless Africa. He pointed out that while Nigeria imposes hefty visa fees, countries like Uganda, South Africa, and Ghana offer visa-free access to Kenyan passport holders.

Madowo lamented the impact of the high visa fees on travelers and the broader goal of regional integration, particularly in light of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. He argued that the current visa regime undermines efforts to foster economic cooperation and mobility across the continent.

The journalist also criticized the visa-on-arrival system in Nigeria, describing it as akin to the “visa-free” illusion offered by Kenya’s Electronic Travel Authorization. He noted the cumbersome application process and the potential for expedited approval through unofficial channels, which often involves additional fees.

Despite his fondness for Nigeria, Madowo urged authorities to address the visa situation, describing it as burdensome and hindering the country’s potential as a regional hub for trade and investment. He called for reforms to streamline the visa process, reduce fees, and facilitate seamless travel within Africa.

Based on the current exchange rate, Madowo’s visa fees amounted to a staggering N267,743.80 for a single-entry visa, with a total expenditure of N803,231.40 for his three visits to the country in 2024 alone.

Madowo’s remarks have sparked a broader conversation on visa policies and their implications for regional integration and economic development. Many Nigerians and international observers have echoed his sentiments, urging authorities to prioritize visa reforms to enhance mobility and foster closer ties among African nations.

As discussions continue, Madowo’s advocacy serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of creating an inclusive and accessible visa regime that aligns with the vision of a united and prosperous Africa.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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