Written by Leon Usigbe, Abuja Thursday, 14 June 2012
THE Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a new visa policy for the country which is intended to ease the entry into the country of strategic foreigners especially investors and tourists who have much to contribute to the national economy.
Briefing State House correspondents after the weekly meeting of the council presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, who was joined by his Interior and Health counterparts, Comrade Abba Moro and Dr Onyebuchi Chukwu, respectively, said the policy was reviewed because the assumptions which informed the existing one were no longer realistic in the present day.
He said the review was necessary to create easier access to the country especially now that the rest of the world was thinking of Nigeria as a favourite investment destination, explaining that with the new policy, strategic visitors and those from countries where Nigeria has no embassy would now be able to obtain Nigerian visa at entry points.
Maku noted that the length of time granted for the visa of foreign investors could now also extend to as long as 10 years as obtainable in many other countries, adding that, “if the world is looking at us as a favourable investment destination, we think we should make visa process easier.”
The minister assured that measures would be put in place to make sure that undesirable elements did not take advantage of the liberal visa regime to enter the country.
Also speaking on the matter, the Minister of Interior, explained that the way people come into the country and move out was vital to national security therefore, new components were being introduced in the policy to ensure national interest was guarded.
He revealed that foreign investors who come into the country with as much as $10million dollars investment could be given as much as 25 per cent employment quota without sacrificing the employment opportunities for Nigerians.
Also approved by FEC, were two contracts for the creation of an electronic bank for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) at the cost of $1.9million and the rehabilitation of the G17 component of Ughelli Power Plant at the cost of N1.85billion to add 100mw to the National Grid.
I thought these people were going to ensure that not just anybody can enter Nigeria. I read from somewhere that Nigeria is visa-free for Afghanistan nationals. I also read somewhere that some foreigners even freely forge Nigerian passports and or visas. These people just prove once more that they are incapable leaders. Another channel is being opened for corrupt people to operate.
New York Times
Advertise with us
Rules And Regulations