Visa administration: FG to streamline process for easy accessibility — Minister

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By Yahaya Isah

The Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has restated the Federal Government’s commitment to review the nation’s visa policy administration for easy accessibility.

Tunji-Ojo made this known during a Stakeholders Consultative Meeting on Nigeria visa policy on Saturday in Abuja.

The minister explained that though, striking a balance between easy access to visa and national security was very delicate, but if done well, it would no doubt lead to a healthy investment promotion among others.

“You see, a seamless access to any country is key for investment promotion, job creation, foreign direct investment. In short it is key to whatever a particular country wants to do or achieve to enable it progress.

“The logic is that everything is built on effective visa administration. So, we are here to really talk about it and to be able to streamline the process for better.

“Especially, in areas of short stay visa and even our other categories of visa to see how we can optimise them and make it more efficient in such a way that will be able to attract more investment,” Tunji-Ojo said.

He said government is determined to make sure that in the next couple of weeks, the new implementation framework will be on ground.

The Minister said subsequently, people all over the world will start having easy access to the country because government want to welcome investment and people.

“Just last year, the number of foreign passengers that came to Nigeria was just less than two million people.

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“That is unacceptable for a country of over 200 million people. It means that we are limiting investment, import of forex among other things.

“So, once we get the visa policy right, and we get the implementation framework perfect, then definitely the economic prosperity will come,” Tunji-Ojo said.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr Aishetu Ndayako, said that the review had become imperative bearing in mind the importance of visa to the overall development of any country.

Ndayako expressed optimism that at the end of the meeting, stakeholders would have come up with a new visa policy framework that would be able to compete with other climes that got it right.(NAN)

Edited by Maureen Ojinaka/Razak Owolabi

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