June 13, 2024
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The Federal Government is working to revise the visa application policy in the country in a few weeks to improve accessibility.

The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, said  disclosed this at a stakeholders’ consultative meeting regarding Nigeria’s visa policy held at the weekend in Abuja.

The minister noted that although balancing the ease of visa access with national security is a sensitive issue, if managed effectively, it would undoubtedly encourage substantial investment promotion among other benefits.

“You see, seamless access to any country is key for investment promotion, job creation, and foreign direct investment. In short, it is key to whatever a particular country wants to do or achieve to enable it to progress.

“The logic is that everything is built on effective visa administration. So, we are here to really talk about it and to be able to streamline the process for the better.

“This is especially, in areas of short-stay visas and even our other categories of visa to see how we can optimise them and make it more efficient in such a way that we will be able to attract more investment,” Tunji-Ojo said.

Furthermore, he said that the government is committed to ensuring that within the next few weeks, the new implementation framework will be established.

The Minister further said that as a result, people globally will begin to find easier access to the country because the government aims to attract both investment and people.“Just last year, the number of foreign passengers that came to Nigeria was just less than two million people.

“That is unacceptable for a country of over 200 million people. It means that we are limiting investment, and import of forex, among other things.

“So, once we get the visa policy right, and we get the implementation framework perfect, then definitely the economic prosperity will come,” Tunji-Ojo said.

Earlier last year, Tunji-Ojo had said that the complete automation of passport applications would commence in January 2024.

The minister promised Nigerians that the process was 99% complete.

He said when fully automated, Nigerians would only go to immigration centres for fingerprint or biometric purposes.

He added that the new system will enable users to upload their passport photographs and other supporting documents from the comfort of their homes.

He also added that the initiative will improve the security architecture of the country, prompting a quick detection of fake passport applications and reducing bottlenecks.

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