The newly launched visa policy which allows travellers to obtain Nigeria visa at arrival has continued to generate discussions across the country.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government launched a New Visa Policy (NVP) which will allow travellers to visit Nigeria without visas and only commence the process of obtaining visa upon arrival into the country.
The Service Public Relations Officer, Mr Sunday James, disclosed that the new visa policy broadened the scope of visa obtainment in Nigeria from the hitherto six categories to 79.
He said that the enhanced visa policy by Nigeria, one of Africa’s key economies, comes on the back of the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
He added that it was a treaty seeking to establish a continent wide, marketplace with increased trade and freer movement among its major economic powers.
“The objective of the reforms that have birthed NVP 2020 is to strengthen Nigeria’s position as a key economy in Africa by attracting more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country.
“This would in turn provide jobs for the people and lift Nigeria’s teeming population out of poverty in line with the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
Also, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, during the launch of the NVP 2020, stated that its operation was cardinal to the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
Aregbesola said that the new visa regime was expected to boost economic activities in the areas of tourism, aviation, entertainment, commerce and other areas where Nigeria has comparative advantage over other African countries.
He added that it also presented Nigeria with the opportunity to apply the principle of reciprocity with her visa policy in the nation’s bilateral and multilateral relations.
The Minister expressed the commitment of the federal government to the implementation of the NPV 2020 in view of its supervisory role on the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
The Comptroller General, NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, spoke on the objectives, benefits and classes, with emphasis on the control aspect without compromising National security.
Babandede said that the new NVP presented a good opportunity for Nigeria to be a major consideration for investment in Africa and hosting of international events particularly the ones scheduled to hold in Africa.
“Some of the features of NVP 2020 include, Visa on Arrival for African Union nationals, increase in the classes of visas from 6 to 79, creation of visa codes for all classes of visa and introduction of e-visas.