S’Africa Mulls 10-year Visa for Nigerian Business Travellers

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Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja and Nume Ekeghe in Lagos

In a bid to promote trade between Nigeria and South Africa, the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Thamsanqa Dennis Mseleku has advised more Nigerian businesses, especially financial institutions to expand their businesses to South Africa.

The envoy also disclosed that the South African consulate was working on issuing Nigerian business operators 10-year-visa to further foster business relationship between both countries.

Mseleku said this yesterday on ‘The Morning Show, a programme monitored on Arise News, where he also noted that the bilateral agreements being signed by both countries would be fully implemented in the coming years.

He said: “Yes, Nigerian businesses are operating in South Africa, and this issue was raised in 2019 when President Buhari was in South Africa specifically referring to Access Bank and Air Peace. Today Access bank has opened a bank in South Africa and is active and Air peace is flying to South Africa.

“So, the issue is that we must encourage more businesses that want to go to South Africa from Nigeria to do so particularly in the financial sector.”

He noted that some South African companies in Nigeria were pulling out of the West African country, which he said was one of the reasons for the visit by South Africa’s president.

On the issues surrounding inaccessibility of visa to business personnel, he added: “For business people, we are agreeing and we would continue to implement longer term visas for them. We are now looking at actually ensuring they get up to 10 years of visa because we are improving the situation.

“We do agree that there is a challenge with relation turnaround time because of the capacities in our embassies and these are some of the issues discussed.”

On bilateral agreements signed, he added: “There is this notion that we just meet each other, sign agreements and that is how we keep the friendships. But these two presidents are very clear that it is not the kind of relationship they are looking for. They are going to supervise, work, and have joint reports on implementations because they are serious on getting things actually working.

“So, this time around, I promise you, in two years’ time when we see President Buhari in South Africa, we wouldn’t be saying was there half implementation or no implementation, I can promise that more of these agreements would have been implemented,” he added.