New Visa Policy Intended to Attract Innovation, Specialized Skills, Knowledge into Economy – President Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria Visa Policy 2020 is intended to attract innovation, specialized skills and knowledge from abroad to complement local capacity.
In remarks at the official public presentation of the Nigeria Visa Policy (NVP) 2020, the President said implementation of the new policy will support the attainment of a globally competitive economy for Nigeria by building on the efforts of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council.
President Buhari said the policy will improve the business environment, attract Foreign Direct Investment and boost tourism without compromising national security.
The President also noted that the Nigeria Visa Policy 2020 provides an avenue to achieve African integration by the introduction of visas on arrival for short visits to Nigeria for holders of passports of African Union countries.
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, said the visa policy took into consideration the 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.
Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, who made a technical presentation at the launch, 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.
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.