Nigeria’s revised visa policy grants legal stay for up to 90 days
President Muhammadu Buhari has officially presented to the public the Nigeria Visa Policy (NVP) for the year 2020.
He presented the document at the State House in Abuja, on Tuesday. The document is a revised version.
President Buhari said the review of the visa policy is intended to attract innovation, specialised skills and knowledge from abroad to complement local ones.
The 2020 visa policy is to enhance business opportunities and achieve African integration through the visas on arrival for holders of passports of African Union countries.
He said the new policy has 79 categories, which include health, education, tourism etc, pointing out that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Interpol also made inputs into the system, and would be carried along in the processing before approvals.
The revised policy is a sequel to Buhari’s pronouncements in November 2019 that a new policy of visas on arrival would be granted to all African travellers starting from January 2020.
The new policy favours Africans with a valid passport who wish to come into the country for a short visit, for businesses and for tourism, as the Visa grants them legal stay for up to 90 days.
“I therefore commend the document to the international community, foreign and local business entities. We are open for business,’’ he said.
In his remarks, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, said the visa policy took into consideration specific needs of foreigners who would want to visit the country, without compromising the security of the country.
The minister said the policy had followed a process that considered the security, economy and territorial integrity of the country, and would only be issued after due diligence with other security components of the country.
“Especially, the new visa policy will be helpful to diaspora Nigerians by birth who can now use other passports to visit the country because some countries do not allow dual citizenship,’’ he added.
In a technical presentation, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigrations Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, said the service had already put in place a technological hub, called the Migrants Information and Data Analysis (MIDAS), to ensure strict compliance with the conditions for the issuance of the visa.
Babandede assured that issues of corruption or bribery will be controlled by the automated system, while allaying fears of possible infiltration of the economy by criminals and terrorists.