Nigeria launches 48-hour online visa application system

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Friday, March 24, 2017 12:12 PM/ Reporting by Camillus Eboh; writing by Alexis Akwagyiram, editing by Ed Osmond, Reuters

Nigeria has launched an online system aimed at enabling business executives to apply for a visa online and collect it on arrival 48 hours later, its immigration service said on Thursday.

The move to ease visa rules in the West African country follows complaints from foreign executives that obstructive embassy officials made it difficult to enter the country.

Under the new system, travellers must register with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and provide details including travel document information, after which a letter of approval may be issued and the visa collected on arrival.

Mohammed Babandede, comptroller general of the NIS, said the facility was in line with the government's "policy on creation of a conducive environment to attract foreign high net worth investors and professionals into the economy".

Overseas investors have mainly stayed away from Africa's largest economy after being put off by a gap of around 30 percent between the official rate of the naira currency, controlled by the central bank, and rates on the parallel market.

Nigeria, an OPEC member, is in recession for the first time in 25 years largely due to low oil prices.

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