With an eye on making it easier for foreigners to do business in the country, Nigeria has eased its visa processes for persons who wish to visit Nigeria for business and tourism by removing some of the bureaucratic bottlenecks.
Nigerians are also beneficiaries of the review. Henceforth, passport re-issuance has been decentralised and Nigerians no longer need to travel to Abuja to get this done.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the measures were part of the action plan for the ease of doing business as well as efforts to boost tourism within the overall context of the administration’s economic diversification agenda.
“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 travel 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 music concerts.
The minister said other actions that have been taken by the NIS for the ease of doing business and facilitation of travel for Nigerians and foreigners alike include the harmonisation of multiplicity of airport arrival and departure form/cards into a single form for all agencies of government to save foreign visitors from the current frustrating practice of filling three different forms or more and the decentralisation of immigration services to the state commands.