It is not certain yet, but promises from the presidency of Africa’s largest economy indicate that all Africans will be able to get visa-on-arrival to Nigeria as from 2020.
The intention, which was disclosed by President Buhari at the Aswan Forum in Egypt, yesterday, could be a move to promote tourism in Africa’s most populous nation.
Already, citizens of countries that are affiliates with the regional group ECOWAS (Economic Community of West Africa States) have visa-free access to Nigeria.
The step taken by the West African country should mean that other visitors from across the continent will not need to bother about paperwork before they can arrive Nigeria.
Nevertheless, it remains unclear how new the development is, because an earlier-in-the-year notice on the website of the country’s immigration service seemed to show that visa-on-arrival for Africans was already in place – or in the works.
Asides from the information disclosed in Cairo, the official Twitter handle of President Buhari emphasized that Nigeria is committed to enabling free movement of people within the continent.
“Nigeria is committed to supporting the free movement of Africans within Africa. Yesterday at the Aswan Forum in Egypt I announced that, in January 2020, we will commence issuance of visas at the point of entry into Nigeria, to all persons holding passports of African countries,” the tweet explained.
Free visa comes on the trail of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which was signed by all countries in the continent to establish an Africa-wide marketplace where trade is easier and movement is with less hiccups.
Upon the implementation of the new visa policy, Nigeria will join Kenya and Ethiopia on the band of countries with open arms to all African nationals.
At the time, the travel and tourism sector in Nigeria is in dire need of stronger branding, which means the visa policy could not have come at a better time.
According to the Nigeria Hospitality Report, the travel and tourism sector in Nigeria accounted for 1.9 percent (NGN 2.298 Bn or USD 6,339,878) of total GDP as direct contribution and 5.1 percent (NGN 6.205 Bn or USD 17,118,775) in total contribution.
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