• Friday, April 19, 2024
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NIS introduces ‘Trust Visa’ to deepen foreign investments in Nigeria

The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has introduced a ‘Trust Visa’ that would serve as to deepen foreign investment in Nigeria.

The NIS under the leadership of Carol Wura-Ola Adepoju, acting comptroller general introduced ‘Trust Visa’, a new initiative to safeguard the interests of foreign investors entering the country for business purposes.

The primary objective of this initiative, according to Adepoju, is to prevent fraudulent individuals posing as business persons from taking advantage of foreign investors seeking partnerships with Nigerians. The trust visa system also serves as a guarantee of authenticity for foreign investors involved in Nigerian partnerships.

During her visit to Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos, where the visa-on-arrival (VOA) lounge was unveiled, she highlighted the significance of this initiative in attracting greater foreign direct investments to Nigeria.

“By implementing the trust visa system, the NIS aims to foster a secure and conducive environment for foreign investors, ensuring their confidence in engaging in business partnerships within Nigeria,” Adepoju said.

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She said Nigeria holds various factors that make it appealing to foreign investors, including its large population, favourable climate, and level of sophistication.

“Because of the prevalence of international crime, especially the ones that are done online, when you have a lot of fictitious business offers, but some of them are afraid, they do not know the calibre of the people they are dealing with, you know sometimes you will need partners here,” she said.

In addition, Adepoju clarified that the Nigerian Immigration Service aims to collaborate with various security agencies in the country to protect investors from falling victim to fraudulent schemes. As part of this effort, individuals intending to invest in Nigeria will undergo a thorough profiling process to ensure their clean business record.

“When investors obtain the necessary thrust visa, we will work closely with agencies such as the Department of State Services (DSS) and other security organisations responsible for safeguarding the country.

“If you are an investor seeking to partner with someone in Nigeria, we will provide you with a dossier and a security report on that person. This will enable us to determine their trustworthiness, and once we confirm their credibility, we assure you that your investment in partnership with them will be successful.”

The acting CGIS also noted that the VOA facility aims to simplify the bureaucratic processes associated with obtaining a business visa. By streamlining these procedures, the number of foreign investors willing to visit and invest in Nigeria is expected to increase. This improved user experience enhances the country’s appeal as an investment destination and encourages greater foreign direct investment.

She said: “According to our records, a significant number of VOA visas were issued at the MMIA in 2022, totaling 55,644. Considering that these individuals are high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), this figure holds significant economic importance.

“The renovation and expansion of the VOA lounges speak to the commitment of the Service and the Nation to welcoming High Business Network Investors willing to come for business purposes. Lagos being a centre of excellence requires a befitting reception for this calibre of investors”.

“By providing travellers with the convenience of having their visa processed in a comfortable space and in a timely manner upon arrival, the NIS is showing its commitment to ease of doing business and hostmanship, the art of making people welcome, which has become our brand signature”.

After inspecting the various workstations at both the newly constructed and old terminals of the NIS, Adepoju had a meeting with the service’s personnel, emphasising the importance of carrying out their responsibilities in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.

Kayode Sadiq, the zonal coordinator at Zone A headquarters in Lagos, said that the expansion and renovation of the VOA lounge was undertaken to align with the Federal Government’s Executive Order on ease of doing business.

The aim, according to him, is to provide a conducive environment for issuing visas to potential investors while leaving a lasting positive impression on their minds.