January 31, 2020 / 02.00PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: Independent Newspaper
The proposed Visa Policy 2020 developed by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) will reposition Nigeria as a leading global investment destination when the President approves it.
Comptroller, Services Desk Headquarters, NIS, Mr. Kunle Osisoya revealed this at the January 2020 breakfast meeting of the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce which discussed the operations of the Immigration Service and its outlook for 2020 and beyond.
Mr. Osisoya, who represented the Comptroller General Mr. Muhammed Babandede, MFR, said the Visa Policy 2020 by framework keys into Nigeria's economic development as a nation.
He said the focus was to put Nigeria on the pedestal of becoming a major tourism and aviation hub globally.
According to him, the new visa policy is an improvement on the 2012 version and will increase the classes of visa from 6 to 79 in the country.
From his presentation, Mr. Osisoya informed stakeholders that the visa classes covered areas like short visit visas, social visits, short temporary visas, permanent resident visa, visa for investors and visa for immigrants who have worked in Nigeria for over 20 years and have retired.
On the Visa-On-Arrival policy, Osisanya noted that it rolled out for citizens of the African Union member states, to promote trade and integration in Africa.
Osisanya believed the Visa-On-Arrival policy would create business opportunities for Nigerians from the Tourism to Aviation sectors.
He highlighted the following as the rationale for the Visa policy 2020 initiative;
Speaking further, Osisanya said 63,251 visas were processed in 2019 on arrival by the Nigerian Immigration Service, compared to the 30,664 issued in 2018.
On the prospects ahead for the NIS Osisanya outlined the following strategies;
Giving his perspective on the Visa Policy 2020, the Chairman of the NSACC, Mr. Foluso Phillips, lauded the initiative describing it as a strategy that will encourage businesses and attract investors into the country.
He believed the ongoing reforms at the NIS under the Comptroller General Mr. Muhammed Babandede, MFR, was remarkable and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the Draft Visa Policy 2020 proposal.