Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nigerian Government approves new visa regime to attract investors

The Federal Executive Council has approved a new visa policy for the country designed to boost tourism, attract foreign investment and create employment opportunities. Minister of Information Labaran Maku said this while briefing State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House, Abuja. Maku said the council’s approval was sequel to a memorandum presented by the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, for the harmonisation of Nigeria’s new visa policy.

Explaining the policy, Moro who was also at the briefing, said the new visa regime contained new innovations and elements that would promote Nigeria’s strategic interests. The minister said the new policy would facilitate easier provision of visa to foreign investors, strategic visitors and tourists. He said that the policy would allow for a visa term of up to 10 years for strategic investors, while strategic visitors and government officials coming to Nigeria could have access to visas at the point of entry.

“Today we have a visa policy in place now that is targeted at boosting tourism, attracting foreign direct investment, opening up the economy for employment opportunities and above all, a policy that seek to secure our borders".
“If a business man or a tourist or a trade delegation or for that matter a government delegation even headed by the Presidents or Heads of State of these countries have reasons to visit Nigeria at short notice to do business with Nigeria and if by any coincidence, we don’t have embassies in such countries, such delegation or group can come to Nigeria and obtain their visas at point of entry.

“We have other categories, we have short term visas, we have temporary resident visas, we have permanent resident visas and of course, a new introduction now is that we have investment or skill transfer visa category in which case if you have a particular level of investment that you want to make in Nigeria that can add value to the economy of the country, you can be given certain categories of visa.