After closing its borders, Nigeria announces visa on arrival for all Africans

Mohammed Awal Dec 12, 2019 at 08:00am

December 12, 2019 at 08:00 am | News

Mohammed Awal

Mohammed Awal

December 12, 2019 at 08:00 am | News

President Muhammadu Buhari | Photo: ThisisAfrica

African nationals traveling to Nigeria will no longer need to acquire visa before traveling to the West African country from January 2020.

Nigeria said it is now going to issue visa on arrival at all ports of entry from next year.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari announced this Wednesday during the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development inaugural meeting in Egypt.

“Nigeria introducing the issuance of visas at the point of entry into Nigeria to all persons holding passports of African countries with effect from January 2020,” Buhari’s special assistant, Tolu Ogunlesi quoted him as saying.

The move Buhari said in a tweet was part of Nigeria’s commitment to the free movement Africans within the continent.

“Nigeria is committed to supporting the free movement of Africans within Africa. Yesterday at the Aswan Forum in Egypt I announced that, in January 2020, we will commence issuance of visas at the point of entry into Nigeria, to all persons holding passports of African countries,” the tweet read.

This comes at a time Nigeria barred the movement of all goods from countries with which it shares a land border: Benin, Niger, and Cameroon, effectively banning all trade – import and export – with its neighbors.

The motivation for this drastic move, officials say, was to curb the smuggling of goods such as rice, tomatoes, and poultry to bolster Nigeria’s agricultural sector. 

Picture: Graphic

While border closures are not new, Nigeria’s was done without consultations with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to allow business people in the various affected countries not to load vehicles with goods including perishable items, and head for Nigeria only to be told of the barrier at the gates.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) came into force after its ratification by a sufficient number of African countries, marking a critical milestone in the Pan-African trade journey. 

The AfCFTA is predicted to boost the combined consumer and business spending and increase intra-African trade by at least 53.2%.

AfCFTA’s Agenda 2063 aspires to “create a continental market with the free movement of persons, capital, goods, and services.”

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