Minister laments Nigeria’s difficult visa processes, tourists, investors to get travel permit in 48 hours

The Federal Government has expressed worry over the cumbersome nature of visa processes, lamenting the ease of doing business with Nigeria’s visa processes.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Muhammad Idris said going forward, those investors and tourists would find it easy to acquire a visa within the next 48 hours.

Speaking at the end of the extended FEC meeting on Tuesday, Idris said President Bola Tinubu approved the setting up of the committee to accelerate visa processes and acquisition for foreigners interested in investing in Nigeria.

Idris said the government envisages reducing the approval time for visas to 48 hours, adding that the development will attract more investors and tourists into the country.

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In 2019, the Nigerian visa was named the 9th hardest in the world. Getting a Nigerian visa requires a lot of paperwork.

In addition to your hotel booking confirmation, you’ll need to provide bank statements and a letter of employment. You’ll also have to make three separate payments: the first to the Nigerian government (which is done online when you fill out your application form); the second to the Nigerian High Commission (which can be done only at the post office as a postal order); and the third to the visa application centre when your application is submitted.

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A report by the African Development Bank Group and the African Union has ranked Nigeria and South Africa as some of the nations that make it difficult for prospective African travellers to secure entry visas.

The report titled, ‘Africa Openness Report 2019,’ ranked 54 African countries on three openness issues in securing visas – where no visa was required, where a visa was issued on arrival and where a visa was required.

The report ranked Nigeria 30 and South Africa 35 among 54 countries.

On top of the ranking were Seychelles and Benin Republic with their no-visa policies. They were followed by Senegal, Rwanda, Uganda, Guinea Bissau, Cabo Verde, Togo and Mauritania in the same order.

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From the bottom of the list were Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Sudan, Eritrea, South Sudan, Egypt, Morocco, Burundi, Algeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The ranking means that it is easier to visit the nations at the top and more difficult to visit the nations at the bottom.

Wole Shadare

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