Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru
By Damilola Oyedele
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, has said the new visa policy recently outlined by the Federal Government is intended to attract inflow of foreign investors and skilled personnel to boost Nigeria’s economy.
Ashiru, speaking in Abuja Tuesday at the opening of a two-day workshop on “Global Best Practices on Receiving Foreigners at Ports of Entry” organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), described the policy as a veritable instrument for socio-economic growth.
Represented by the Under-Secretary, Administration and Finance, Ambassador Kabiru Garba, the minister listed the main objective of the workshop: “to achieve the desired enlightenment on the high points of reform introduced by the new visa policy and operational guidelines and the modalities for implementation.”
He expressed optimism that the workshop would help improve inter-agency collaboration to create proper synergies for seamless delivery founded on an exceptional customer relations management.
The Deputy Comptroller General of Immigration, Border Patrol, ECOWAS and African Affairs, Tam Mologe, noted that it is already being envisaged that a more liberal visa policy would lead to an influx of genuine investors and tourists to the country.
He noted that the NIS is not unmindful of the fact that this liberalisation has the potential to attract ‘unwanted elements’ who may pose a threat to national security.
“We have also adopted a holistic approach by extending this gesture to the relevant security agencies and other major stakeholders at the port of entry,” he said.