Nigeria’s scraping of airport tax for dual nationalities is political – analysts

Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos. Photo : RR

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADV) – Nigerians holding dual citizenship will as of today, Friday, be exempted from paying an over-stay airport tax at the country ’s international airports, sources said.

“Citizens with dual nationality should only present both traveling documents of their countries of nationality to the immigration officials upon arrival and departure, regardless of whichever they are using to travel,” a government statement said.

Media reports quoted the country’s Minister of Interior, Rtd Lt Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau as saying that the directives were in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve « to make movement easy for Nigerians with dual citizenship to come into their father-land unhindered ».

Dambazau went an extra mile by labeling the payment as criminal but questions are being raised over the timing of the government measure to scrap the payment.

Payment of airport tax for over-staying in the country by Nigerian nationals with dual citizenship has long been an issue in the country, but little or nothing has been done till now.

This payment has been estimated in millions of dollars as the phenomenon is a permanent one which concerns millions of Nigerians.

Analysts have pegged the number of Nigerians with dual nationalities at over five million with many of them Americans and Europeans who return home after long years and hence constrained to over-stay.

In the same token, analysts have slammed Buhari’s timing to scrap the payment at a moment when he is walking on a tightrope and electioneering for a second mandate.

© Bur-csa – N.A / From our regional correspondent Tamba Jean-Matthew III – African Daily Voice (ADV)