Tuesday 13, June 2017 by Matthew Amlôt

Visa on arrival for foreign investors to ease trading in Nigeria for UAE businesses

Following the announcement from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on the introduction of a liberalised online Visa on Arrival (VOA) facility for the public, especially foreign investors willing to invest in Nigeria, Jamie Simmonds, Chief Executive Officer at The Access Bank UK stated that the facility will pave the way for more GCC investors to increase their investment potential in the country.

According to Muhammad Babandede, the Comptroller-General of the NIS, the new system is part of the resolution of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) to create a favourable environment to attract foreign investors into the economy. The automated visa application and processing services at all entry points will ensure that all genuine requests for Visa on Arrival facility from any part of the world including the GCC region are processed and issued within 48 hours (two working days).

Jamie Simmonds, Chief Executive Officer at The Access Bank UK said, “Previously, the visa process was not as easy and required investors from the GCC region to apply well in advance. With the new process in place, investors can make timely decisions regarding potential investment opportunities in Nigeria, and ensure that they make considerable returns on these investments. Moreover, this improvement in the process will eliminate unnecessary procedures that have been in existence for a very long time.”

The new system will require business owners, entrepreneurs and travellers to register with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) online and provide essential travel details, after which a letter of approval may or may not be issued, and the visa can be collected on arrival. The NIS has also deployed a dedicated e-mail address - oa@nigeriaimmigration.gov.ng - for visa applicants, their representatives or companies to send their requests and details.

“In an effort to move closer to customers and build a long lasting relationship with the region, we have also set up a branch office in Dubai, which will serve as a route for investors in the region to trade effortlessly from Asia to Africa,” Simmonds concluded.

The VOA desk is currently operational at all international airports in the country, and visas will be issued upon the presentation of visitor’s approval letter, all other necessary travel documents, and evidence of visa payment.

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