GOVERNMENT ministers are working on plans to introduce visa-on-arrival for all visitors visiting Nigeria as part of a new regime to encourage investors under this administration’s ease of doing business in the country policy.
With Nigeria’s economy more-or-less wholly dependent on crude oil, the government has repeatedly acknowledged the need for diversification. To do this, however, will require a lot of foreign direct investment and ministers are considering a series of initiatives designed to woo investors.
Yesterday, foreign affairs minister Geoffrey Onyeama, visited his Namibian counterpart Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah in Windhoek and announced that the plan will be extended to Namibia. At the meeting, the two ministers also agreed on a mechanism for achieving mutually beneficial cooperation and established a joint commission which will meet in early 2020.
Sarah Sanda, Mr Onyeama’s spokesperson, said: “Any Namibian wishing to obtain a visa to Nigeria can apply and will be considered as was the case in the past. Once the requirements are met satisfactorily, such a person will be issued a visa and the same applies to a Nigerian wishing to go to Namibia.”
She added that the meeting also agreed that any visa denial or deportation will not be stamped in the holders passport. Furthermore, consular meetings will be held quarterly to assess how things are progressing.
Mr Onyeama said that over the years, Nigeria has engaged with Namibia through the Technical Aid Corps, which is one mechanism through which Nigeria’s support countries by sending out brightest young professionals in various fields. He further reiterated his belief that the partnership being forged through the joint commission can transform the lives of people through the framework of the 2063 Agenda of the African Union and the 2030 sustainable development goals of the United Nations.
Diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Namibia date back to March 2 1990 following the country’s attainment of independence. Since then, relations have been warm and cordial owing to the role Nigeria played during Namibia’s liberation struggle with the provision of financial, material and logistical support for South West African Peoples Organisation.