" ITREALMS: Nigeria plans visa-free pact with 8 African countries–Onyeama

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Nigeria plans visa-free pact with 8 African countries–Onyeama

The Federal Government of Nigeria may have concluded plans to sign visa-free pact with eight African countries, according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, reports ITRealms.

The Minister revealed this at a press conference in Abuja, Tuesday, saying the plan would promote economic partnership on the continent, even though he did not disclose these countries yet.
“Africa is the centerpiece of our foreign policy but it is a paradox that as a Nigerian, you cannot go to an African country without a visa unlike what is obtainable in Western Europe,” he lamented.

Onyeama also said Nigeria was trying to come up with an initiative, like the one in Western Europe where one could enter any sister country without a visa, pointing out that the new idea should bring about an upsurge in economic activities.

“We want to start with about eight countries or see if they come up as a group of eight countries. At the presidential level, they agreed to that, and signed up to free movement. If we can achieve that within a year, then other countries may want to join and we believe that this is a better way to go than institutional ECOWAS etc, as countries take so long to ratify agreements,” he said.

The minister further said that the ministry was working with the immigration to see rise in the number of visa issued to businessmen and investors as well as reduce the time it took to register companies.

Okoli Vincent/GEE

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