Visa Reforms Will Encourage Foreign Direct Investment—NIS Boss

NIS Boss, Mohammed-Babandede

…18,000 Nigerians Issued Online Visas In 2015—Turkish Ambassador
The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede has stated that the ongoing visa reforms of the Federal Government will not only aid the ease of doing business in Nigeria but that it will also encourage Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the country.
He stated this while receiving the Turkish Ambassador, His Excellency Cakil Hakan the Immigration Headquarters in Abuja.
Babandede called on Turkish businessmen and other foreign investors to take advantage of the Visa-at-port-of-entry facility otherwise known as Visa-on-arrival to do business in Nigeria.
A statement signed by Public Relations Officer, NIS Ekpedeme King Babandede explained that the visa facility that is presently issued at the country’s international airports was introduced by the Federal Government as part of the measures to encourage Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
According to Babandede, “in order to encourage ease of doing business in Nigeria the Immigration Act 2015 has given the CGI the powers to issue such visas to investors, frequently travelled business persons of International repute, executive directors of multinational companies, members of Government delegations as well as holders of UN, AU and ECOWAS Laissez-Passer.”
The Act, the CGI explained also empowers him to issue Permanent Residence Visas to foreign nationals, who according to him are married to Nigerians and to foreign investors, who have imported an annual minimum threshold of capital over a period of time.
Babandede said that the agency intends to use the Visa reforms expeditiously and transparently in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s stance on public accountability, adding that he has constituted a committee to clearly articulate the visa reforms to enable the service sensitise the public appropriately.
Earlier, the Turkish Ambassador, His Excellency, Cakil Hakan had lauded the cordial relationship between Nigeria and his country.
He disclosed that Nigeria was the first country in Africa to host a Turkish Mission and that approximately 25,000 Nigerians arrived Istanbul in 2015, out of which 18,000 according to him were issued online visas.
The envoy also noted that there are daily flights from Abuja and Lagos to Istanbul with Turkish Airline making preparations to unveil its second daily flight from Lagos, at a time other airlines were pulling out of Nigeria.
On his mission at the NIS headquarters, he stated that he was at the agency’s head office to seek areas of collaboration, adding that Turkish Government is interested in capacity building for the NIS and its work force.
He presented a catalogue from the Turkish Defence Industry and asked the CGI to choose items he believes can assist in policing the borders more effectively for discussion on how they could be procured.