A report from a United Kingdom based journal, University World News,
has said the £3,000 visa pilot scheme against Nigeria was proposed by
the British intelligence service, MI6 and British police headquarters
at Scotland Yard.
The new UK visa scheme will impose £3,000 (US$4,740) in charges on
unspecified visa applicants thought to be 'high risk visitors' from
Nigeria, Ghana, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.
The Nigerian government has threatened retaliatory measures if London
goes ahead with the 'refundable' but unpopular visa bond.
The report said there was palpable anger and disappointment among
Nigerians who have gained admission into British universities for the
upcoming academic session.
Students already in UK institutions are also unhappy about a new 'visa
bond' scheme to be implemented against'high risk' visitors by the
David Cameron's administration.
As a precautionary measure, many parents have instructed Nigerian
banks to suspend, for now, sending tuition and accommodation fees to
British universities, the report noted.
The report written by Professor Tunde Fatunde, a Nigerian scholar
quoted diplomatic sources in Abuja, as saying that both the M16 and
Scotland Yard, are reportedly worried that some foreign students who
apply for visas to study in British universities have developed, in
their home countries, ideas and determination to commit terrorism on
The report said, the visa bond is believed to be a subtle way of
ensuring that students who are labelled as 'high risk' know that they
will be targets of intelligence surveillance while they are studying
at British universities.
It quoted a diplomat, who did not want to be named, as saying that
Ghana was included on the 'high risk' country list because its airport
and seaports were thought to be avenues for Latin American drug
cartels who use some Ghanian students as drug couriers.
The same diplomat said some students from Nigeria, Pakistan, India and
Bangladesh had been involved in terrorism in Britain.
He cited the examples of Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab, a Nigerian and
former student of University College London, who tried to blow up an
American plane in December 2009, and student Michael Adebolajo, a
Nigerian-born Briton, who recently hacked a British soldier to death.
"The British government is convinced that the use of visa bond may go
a long way to make Britain safe," the diplomat said.
The diplomat also revealed that the visa bonds would be extended to
some non-students thought to be high riskand hinted that British
embassies might collaborate with local intelligence services in
collecting evidence on some visa applicants.