From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government of Ethiopia has suspended the issuance of visas on arrival to Nigerians and nationals of other countries who are non-residents in the country.
The spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Francisca Omayuli, in a statement issued in Abuja, said the development which applied at all points of entry into the country, was as a result of security concerns and the current political situation in the country.
“The suspension applies to nationals of all countries bearing Standard Passports, who seek entry into Ethiopia and not specifically targeted at Nigerians, as reported in some quarters.
“The Ethiopian authorities have explained that the measure is aimed at better border control of the movement of persons into Ethiopia in view of the ongoing armed conflict in the Northern part of the country. The measure is said to be temporary, pending improvement in the security situation in the country and not a replacement of Ethiopia’s open visa policy.
“Therefore, Nigerians bearing Standard Passports intending to travel to Ethiopia are by this notification advised to obtain appropriate entry visas at the Ethiopian Embassy or an electronic visa (e-visa) through the country’s Immigration and Citizenship Service (ICS) portal at www.evisa.gov.et Also, those transiting through Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to other destinations or intend to briefly stop over would require a valid entry visa to enable them access hotel facilities in the city or else would be obligated to remain in the airport pending their connecting flight.
“The new temporary visa restriction measure came into effect on 29th September 2022. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will liaise with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and relevant Airlines to ensure that intending Nigerian travellers en route Ethiopia are well-sensitized.
“The general public is invited to take note of the new visa regime of the Federal Government of Ethiopia and be guided accordingly,” Omayuli said.
However, the Nigerian Government said it has noted the concern expressed by the Ethiopian authorities over the abuse of the country’s visa policy by some Nigerians who enter the country on tourist visas and remain even after the expiration of their visas, engaging in unwholesome activities.
The government said the activities of the few elements not only tarnish the image of the country, but limit opportunities for well-meaning Nigerians outside the country.
“Such persons are enjoined to turn a new leaf and take advantage of the opportunity provided by the Ethiopian National Security Agencies to participate in the ongoing registration of undocumented migrants to avoid unpleasant situations,” Omayuli also said.