UK visa restriction on young Nigerians to be lifted

The United Kingdom is to resume the issuance of first-time entry visas to Nigerians' under 30 years next month, UK foreign secretary Jack Straw announced.

The British embassy in Nigeria in 2004 banned that category of Nigerians from applying for a UK visa, citing a heavy work load and wide incidences of absconders. The UK Envoy to Nigeria Richard Gozney who announced the policy, said then that the young travellers were not convincing when showing evidence of why they would return to Nigeria.

Promising a better deal for visa applicants, Straw now said that steps were also being taken to ease the visa processes at the British consulate in Nigeria.

Straw also spoke on asylum-seeking Nigerians and warned that his country had closed its doors to anyone from Nigeria.

"Any Nigerian seeking asylum will be returned without a right to appeal," he said. He also cautioned against illegal immigration, saying it "hurts every one."

The secretary said that there were about one million Nigerians in the UK, stressing that many were contributing positively to the growth of his country.