President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday launched Nigeria’s new visa policy. According to Dailytrust, the policy allows citizens of other countries to visit Nigeria without visas. However, on arrival, the visitor would commence the process of securing a visa for the duration of their stay. President Buhari while speaking at the ceremony, said the policy will improve the business environment, attract Foreign Direct Investment and boost tourism without compromising national security.
“Earlier in the course of this Administration, we introduced the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020) with one of the objectives being to minimize bottlenecks that impede innovation and market-based solutions for building an inclusive economy.
“The Nigeria Visa Policy 2020 is intended to attract innovation, specialized skills and knowledge from abroad to complement locally available ones,’’ he added.
The President also noted that the Nigeria Visa Policy 2020 provides an avenue to achieve African integration by the introduction of visas on arrival for short visits to Nigeria for holders of passports of African Union countries.
“I, therefore, commend the document to the international community, foreign and local business entities. We are open for business,’’ he said.
It was gathered that the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mohammed Babandede and former Borno governor, Kashim Shettima, among others attended the ceremony.
Speaking after the exercise, Aregbesola told State House Correspondents at the presidential villa that the new visa policy has expanded Nigeria’s visa from 6 categories to 79. He explained that the visa on arrival could only be obtained in five international airports namely Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu which is still undergoing renovation.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Immigration Service has explained that the current type of visa classes, which are Transit, Tourist, Business, Subject to Regularisation (STR), Temporary Work Permit (TWP) and Diplomatic, are limiting.
The new policy covers Investors Visa under Permanent Residence Visas for small and medium enterprises, large corporations, ultra large corporations, oil and gas with importation and investment capital, among others.
The new short visit visa covers ECOWAS member states, Visa abolition agreement countries, holders of official travel documents of the United Nations Organisation, the Africa Union and few others.