Visa on Arrival, Ease of Doing Business Boost Foreign Direct Investments

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Chinedu Eze

Visa on Arrival (VOA), Ease of Doing Business policies introduced by the federal government at the nation’s major airports last year have boosted foreign direct investment (FDI) by investors who were hitherto discouraged by the difficult visa process in the past.

THISDAY gather from senior official of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Command, that more foreign investors have visited the country since last year compared to similar period in the last three years.

THISDAY investigations revealed that over 38, 000 people have used the VOA between June 2017 and June 2018. The Immigration official, who spoke to THISDAY said VOA is a product of the federal government’s ease-of-doing-business policy which came onboard over a year ago meant to reduce the bottlenecks in getting visas for businessmen and tourists.

He said investment has been boosted in the country as more investors are finding their way to Nigeria to trade and do other forms of businesses, investing funds, technology and skills in the country.

According to information provided to our correspondent, the over 38,000 came in from all over the world but there were frequent influx from countries like the United States, China, Britain, Canada, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia and a host of others.

” The VOA is seriously helping and It is a good omen for this country. The Nigeria Immigration Services has done something great and this has helped access of investment as people will make their application and come in and pay for it, instead of going to the embassy,” the official said.

The VOA has a duration of one month, according to the official, stating that once approval was granted by the Comptroller General, the approval has a two-week validity and when it is obtained it lasts for one month, but the beneficiary has a chance to renew the visa.

“You only need approval from the Comptroller General to get the VOA. In fact, once the approval is given, it has a validity of two weeks, if not used within that time, you start the process of re applying for approval . However, when you have approval and everything is done the duration of the visa is one month. It is also renewable,” he told our reporter.

He said enlightenment is still ongoing for those that seek greener pastures by hook or crook, stating that the trend is reducing but that the service at all borders are trying to dissuade young ones from taking that route.

“Human trafficking has reduced, not only at the airport but at other border posts. We cannot say it is completely eradicated but we are doing all we can to make sure we reduce it,” he said.