- Business executives gets entry visa within 48 hours;
- Visa to be collected on arrival on executives into the country;
The Nigerian government has launched faster online visa application system that enables executives entering the country on business to get their visa within 48 hours of application.
The initiative was adopted after constructive complaints from executives that officials made it difficult to enter into the country.
The new measure will see travelers first apply through the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, and provide travel document information, thereafter a letter of approval may be issued and the visa collected on arrival.
Comptroller general of the NIS, Mohammed Babandede, said the facility was in line with the government’s “policy on creation of a conducive environment to attract foreign high net worth investors and professionals into the economy”.
Nigeria which was a former top oil producer has recently sank into recession after international crude price slided and multiple militant attacks on oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta; the country’s GDP receded by 1.5 percent first time since 25 years after President Muhammadu Buhari took office.
While the government have stepped-up negotiations with the militants and Delta communities which might be working at the moment, the government has pledged $20 billion for gas infrastructure project to create jobs in the region.
Earlier this week, Aso Rock has mandated contractors yet to complete their projects in the Delta to resume construction within the next 30 days or face prosecution.
In a bid to get out of its mess the country is looking-out other avenues other than oil as the country’s over 90 percent income is dependent on oil revenues; hence, the government is employing the prompt visa enabling business executives into the country without hiccups.
Trade Minister Okechukwu Enelamah told CNN last week that there are plans to transform Nigeria form a raw materials exporter into a manufacturing nation. With such hopes, the government will seek the foreign assistance of the UK, which the minister believed will provide industrialization support.
Besides the UK, Nigeria is also looking to the U.S. and China as major partners. In fact, the latter could take the place of the former as a top business partner if for some reason the U.S. goes back on $1 billion in financing commitments to the Nigerian power industry. This could happen if the draft 2018 budget is passed by Congress. The draft stipulates a 28-percent cut in the State Department’s budget, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, which has pledged the money for Nigeria, according to an Oilprice report.
Credits: stingged.com, Oilprice, Reuters