President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday, in Abuja flagged off implementation of 79 classes of visas under the new Visa Policy aimed at enhancing Visa on arrival which came into effect in January, this year.
This is even as the Nigeria Immigration Service revealed that a total of 24,000 aliens were registered at the end of the six months grace granted aliens to register, which was issued in July, 2019.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, while briefing State House Correspondents after the Flagg of of the new Visa Policy, disclosed that Nigeria expanded its Visa from six classes to 79, for comprehensive coverage of all areas of human endeavours.
According to Aregbesola who briefed in the company of Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed and the Comptroller of Immigration Service, Ibrahim Babadede, the new Policy will “enhance security, boost our economy and boost investment
The new policy covers various areas, such as education, religion, business, aviation, tourism, security, intelligence, diplomacy, trade and investment
Others include manufacturing, monetary policy, amongst others, even as federal government assured that the new visa policy is corruption free.
The Minister disclosed that the new visa on arrival policy will be implemented at the nation’s five international airports out of which only four are currently functioning
They are the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport Abuja, the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, Aminu Kano International airport, Kano and the Port- Harcourt International airport, Port- Harcourt, Rivers State.
“Applicants can only get biometric Visa at the points of entry,” he said.
“We have developed strategies for dealing with all sorts of human factors that may impinge on implementation of the new policy. It will enhance national security, speedy implementation of visa policy in line with international best practices,” he added.
The new visa on arrival policy was first announced by the President at the Aswan Forum in Egypt, in November, last year.
The new policy is opened to visitors who frequently travel for Businesses, Persons of International Repute, Executives of Multi-national Companies, Members of Government Delegations, Holders of United Nations Laissez-Passer,
Others include holders of African Union Laissez-Passer, holders of any other official travel documents of other recognised International Organisations who intend to visit Nigeria.
According to the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, the Visa on Arrival will be available to citizens of all African countries except ECOWAS Nationals who do not require visa to visit Nigeria and other countries which Nigeria has entered into visa abolition agreements.
“It is for high net worth investors and those visitors who may not be able to obtain visa at the Nigerian Missions/Embassies in their countries of residence due to the absence of a Nigerian mission in those countries or exigencies of urgent business travels,” NIS said.