From Magnus Eze, Abuja
To ease visa processes for foreigners wishing to visit Nigeria for business and tourism purposes, the Federal Government has opened 28 resident permit offices.
The move was aimed at removing bureaucratic bottlenecks and encouraging business travellers and tourists in line with the national action plan for ease of doing business in Nigeria that was recently approved by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this in a statement, yesterday, said the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) reviewed requirements for Nigerian visas to make them more customer friendly, and added that details are available on the NIS website.
He named the types of visas reviewed to include visa on arrival (VoA) processes, business visas, tourist visas and transit visas and further said harmonisation of multiplicity of airport arrival and departure form/cards into a single form for all agencies of government to save visitors the frustration of filling three different forms or more and the decentralisation of immigration services to the State Commands as other actions taken by the NIS to boost the ease of doing business and facilitate travelling for Nigerians and foreigners alike.
Similarly, re-issuance of passports for change of name, due to marital reasons or lost cases, was also decentralised to all state commands and Foreign Missions, to save passport holders from additional costs and inconvenience of travelling to the Service headquarters in Abuja, “while additional 28 offices have been opened for issuance of Residence Permits in Nigeria, bringing the issuance of Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Cards (CERPAC) closer to the doorsteps of employers of expatriates at all 36 states and FCT,” Mohammed said.
The Federal Government recently approved a 60-day national action plan for ease of doing business in the country.