TOURISM and travel industries in Nigeria is poised for a practical development, as the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has made policy statements that would ensure this.
In a release, signed by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Acting President, Laolu Akande, Prof. Osinbajo said: “Ordinary tourist and business entry visas to Nigeria shall henceforth be issued or rejected with reason by the Consular Office of Nigerian Embassies and High Commissions within 48 hours of receipt of valid application. The timeline shall be notified to the public by pasting a notice conspicuously at every Consular Office and by publication on every website of Nigerian Embassies and High Commissions.
“A comprehensive and up to date list of requirements, conditions and procedures for obtaining visa on arrival, including estimated timeframe, shall be published on all immigration-related websites in Nigeria and abroad, including Embassies and High Commissions, and all ports of entry into Nigeria.
“The processing of issuance of visas on arrival shall be carried out in a transparent manner. Visas on arrival shall be granted at all Nigerian ports of entry once applicants have met all the published requirements.”
Whilr on port operations, the Acting President said: “There shall be no touting whatsoever by official or unofficial persons at any port in Nigeria. On duty staff shall be properly identified by uniform and official cards. Off duty staff shall stay away from the ports except with the express approval of the agency head. The FAAN Aviation Security (AVSEC) and Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Security shall enforce this order.
“All non-official staff shall be removed from the secured areas of airports. No official of FAAN, Immigration, security agency or Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) or any other agency is to meet any non-designated dignitary at any secure areas of the airport. The official approved list of dignitaries that have been pre-approved to be received by protocol officers shall be made available to AVSEC and other relevant agencies ahead of their arrival at the airport.
“Any official caught soliciting or receiving bribes from passengers or other port users shall be subject to immediate removal from post and disciplinary as well as criminal proceedings in line with extant laws and regulations.
“All relevant MDAs at the airports shall within 30 days of the issuance of this Order merge their respective departure and arrival interfaces into a single customer interface, without prejudice to necessary backend procedures.
“All agencies currently physically present in Nigerian Ports shall within 60 days harmonise their operations into one single interface station domiciled in one location in the port and implemented by a single joint task force at all times, without prejudice to necessary backend procedures.
“The new single interface station at each Port shall capture, track and record information on all goods arriving and departing from Nigeria and remit captured information to the head of the MDA and the head of the National Bureau of Statistics on a weekly basis.
“Each Port in Nigeria shall assign an existing export terminal to be dedicated to the exportation of agriculture produce within 30 days of the issuance of this Order.
“The Apapa Port shall resume 24-hour operations within 30 days of the issuance of this Order.”