On Tuesday, February 4, President Muhammadu Buhari officially presented to the public Nigeria Visa Policy (NVP) for the year 2020. It was gathered that the main reason for the visa review is reportedly to enhance business opportunities, tourism and achieve African integration.
The new policy now comes with specific visa classes for all of the different categories. Following the official launch of the new visa, here are ten key points every Nigerian must understand about the policy:
1. A greater part of 2019 was devoted to conceiving and enunciating the policy, with retreats, conferences, and engagements with stakeholders by the Nigeria Immigration Service. These held in August, October, and December, in Lagos, Benin, and Abuja, respectively. It was, therefore, not a hasty decision.
2. NVP 2020 is a global visa system, and there is biometrics linked to online applications for each applicant. Chances of criminals beating the system are negligible. Biometrics is to be conducted at port of entry.
3. Visa on Arrival to be issued only at airports, not at land borders.
4. There are three categories of visas: short visit, temporary, and permanent residence.
5. From the previous six, there are now 79 classes of visa.
6. There is Visa for Diaspora Nigerians by birth, with dual citizenship.
7. Visa on Arrival is only for short visits, and there is little chance that visitors will come in to take jobs which should have been for Nigerians.
8. The system is automated. No cash transaction, so the chances of corruption are reduced.
9. NVP is part of a wider reform ‘NIS Border Strategy, 2019-2023.’
10. It holds immense economic benefits for the country. As President Buhari said; “The Nigeria Visa Policy 2020 is intended to attract innovation, specialized skills and knowledge from abroad to complement locally available ones...it will support the attainment of a globally competitive economy for Nigeria by building on the efforts of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council. The policy is expected to improve the business environment, attract Foreign Direct Investment and boost tourism without compromising national security.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that all Africans have been allowed by the federal government to come to Nigeria without a visa starting from January 2020. This information was disclosed by Muhammad Babandede, the comptroller general of the NIS at the inauguration of Africa–Frontex Intelligence Community (AFIC) in Abuja.
It would be recalled that 81% of the respondents from a poll conducted by Legit.ng voted against the president's decision to allow Africans to enter Nigeria without a visa, while only 19% supported the decision.
However, the result of the poll on Twitter is not that different as only 55% said they were not in support of the decision, while only 18% wanted other Africans to enter Nigeria without a visa.
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