Foreigners, who wish to visit Nigeria for business and tourism purposes, will no longer be subjected to any bureaucratic bottleneck, following the review of visa processes by the Federal Government.
The move is designed to encourage business travellers and tourists to boost the economy.
Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed, in a statement issued in Lagos said the measures were part of the plan to ease doing business as well as efforts to boost tourism in line with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s economic diversification agenda.
“The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has reviewed the requirements for Nigerian visas to make them more customer-friendly and details of this review are available on the NIS official website, www.immigration.gov.ng.
“Types of visas currently reviewed include visa on arrival (VoA) processes, business visas, tourist visas and transit visas,” the minister said.
Mohammed explained that business visas are available for foreign travellers, who wish to come to Nigeria for meetings, conferences, seminars, contract negotiation, marketing, sales, purchase and distribution of Nigerian goods, trade fairs, job interviews, training of Nigerians, emergency/relief work, crew members, staff of NGOs, staff of INGOs, researchers and musical concerts.
He said tourist visas were also available to foreign travellers, who wish to visit Nigeria for the purpose of tourism or to visit family and friends.
Mohammed explained that visa on arrival is a class of short visit visa issued at the port of entry, and it is available to frequently-travelled high-net-worth investors and intending visitors, who may not be able to obtain visa at the Nigerian missions/embassies in their countries of residence due to the absence of a Nigerian mission in those countries or exigencies of urgent business travels.
The minister said other actions taken by the Immigration Services were harmonisation of multiplicity of airport arrival and departure forms/cards into a single form and the decentralisation of immigration services to state commands.
“Re-issuance of passports for change of names due to marital reasons or lost cases have been decentralised to all state commands and foreign missions to save passport holders from additional costs and inconvenience of travelling to the Service Headquarters in Abuja. Additional 28 offices have been opened for issuance of residence permits in Nigeria, bringing the issuance of Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Cards (CERPAC) closer to the doorstep of employers of expatriates at all 36 states and FCT,” he said.
Mohammed said the measures fit perfectly into the 60-day national action plan for ease of doing business in Nigeria approved recently by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), as well as the administration’s efforts to boost international tourism.