The Seychelles government has provided clarification on its decision to impose a ban on Nigerian passport holders seeking to visit the country for tourism purposes.
Previously, Nigeria had a longstanding visa-free arrangement with Seychelles, enabling its citizens to enter the country without a visa for a maximum duration of 30 days.
Seychelles News Agency reported that Ahmed Afif, the vice-president of Seychelles, stated that the ban was implemented due to a rise in dr*g trafficking and fraudulent activities involving Nigerian individuals.
He elaborated that over the past year, particularly in recent months, the government has witnessed a concerning trend characterized by criminal activities within the country, posing risks to border control and the economy.
We have seen a clear link between this with certain people from Nigeria. In the past two weeks, for example, 13 people coming from Nigeria have been arrested when entering Seychelles because they were carrying dr*gs into the country.Trending
Some Nigerians involved in credit card scams
Additionally, he noted that there have been instances in recent months where Nigerians have been involved in the use of counterfeit credit cards at various tourist establishments.
In one case, 62 Nigerians who said they were on holiday, used false credit cards, and the money was never credited to the accounts of these establishments. These establishments have lost money. These people spent free holidays in the country at the expense of the establishment owners and there is nothing that can be done for them.
He also highlighted that there have been additional incidents involving financial institutions, including a case where Nigerians were implicated in a fraud resulting in a loss of £1 million.
There are other online scams originating from Nigeria. We have seen that these people are also coming to Seychelles and doing those scams.
While emphasizing that there is no issue with Nigeria or its people, Afif stated that Seychelles does not tolerate such criminal activities within its borders.
However, he clarified that Nigerians holding diplomatic passports or possessing valid work or resident permits issued by the island nation would still be permitted to visit.
Seychelles leads Africa’s most powerful passports list with 153 visa-free score
According to Henley & Partners, a global citizenship and residency advisory firm, the latest passport rankings encompass approximately 199 passports and provide access to 277 different travel destinations.
In Africa, Seychelles holds the top position with a visa-free score of 156 and a global ranking of 29.
Mauritius secures the second spot with a visa-free score of 146 and a global ranking of 34, while South Africa claims the third position with a visa-free score of 106 and a global ranking of 53.