IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The Nigerian Immigration Service has said a current recruitment drive will add more than 1,000 officers to its ranks.

What does the change mean? This kind of substantial staff increase could lead to increased compliance audit activity, but also may shorten application processing times. The recruitment drive began in May and the next phase will be officially announced by the NIS once the Nigerian Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board has completed its review of initial applicants.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas, permits and other immigration services.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals working in Nigeria.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing times could quicken as a result of the additional staff.

Background: The recruitment drive is the first since a 2014 effort that ended in controversy. NIS Comptroller General Muhammad Babandede was recently quoted in media reports saying the NIS would eventually add 1,112 officers. The hiring of additional staff follows a recent set of executive orders aimed at improving the Nigerian business environment for foreign investors and business travelers and the NIS launch of an e-submission process for temporary work permit applications.

BAL Analysis: The additional NIS staff could be deployed to audit companies for compliance with immigration laws and regulations, but could also be devoted to helping the NIS in its ongoing efforts to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of application processes.