New Visa Reform to Encourage Local Investment

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The Comptroller-General of Immigration, Muhammad Babandede has called on Turkish businessmen and other foreign investors to take advantage of the Visa-at-port-of-entry facility otherwise known as Visa-on-arrival to do business in Nigeria.

He said that the facility, which is presently issued at Nigeria’s international airports, was introduced by the federal government as part of the measures to encourage foreign direct investment (FDI).

The CGI stated this when the Turkish Ambassador, His Excellency Cakil Hakan paid him a courtesy visit at the Immigration Headquarters in Abuja recently.

The Immigration boss also said: “In order to encourage ease of doing business in Nigeria, the Immigration Act 2015 has given the CGI the powers to issue such visas to investors, frequently travelled business persons of international repute, executive directors of multinational companies, members of government delegations as well as holders of UN, AU and ECOWAS Laissez-Passer (passports).”

The Act also empowers him to issue Permanent Residence Visas to foreign nationals who are married to Nigerians and to foreign investors who have imported an annual minimum threshold of capital over a period of time.

The CGI said that he “intends to use the Visa reforms expeditiously and transparently in line with President Buhari’s stance on public accountability.”
Babandede also disclosed that he has set up a committee to clearly articulate the visa reforms to enable the Service sensitise the public appropriately.

Earlier, Hakan extolled the cordial relationship between Nigeria and his country.
He pointed out that Nigeria was the first country in Africa to host a Turkish Mission. According to the Ambassador, approximately 25,000 Nigerians arrived at Istanbul in 2015, out of which 18,000 were issued online visas. According to him, there are daily flights from Abuja and Lagos to Istanbul with Turkish Airline making preparations to launch a second daily flight from Lagos, when other airlines are pulling out of Nigeria.

The Ambassador re-iterated that he was at the NIS Headquarters to seek areas of collaboration, noting that the Turkish government is interested in capacity building for the NIS and its work force. He presented a catalogue from the Turkish Defence Industry and asked the CGI to choose items he believes can assist in policing the borders more effectively for discussion on how they could be procured.