27 May 2016
Ease of travel and movement between countries aids in boosting economic and foreign partnerships and relations.
For countries within the same continent, they should stand to examine that good international relations would allow for free travel and movement among citizens of countries within the region.
Countries in Africa are apparently not taking advantage of this. As is the case of holders of the Nigerian passport, who do not have visa-free entry into many other countries.
The above trend is set to change soon as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama while speaking at a news conference in Abuja marking the one year anniversary of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, announced that Nigeria will soon be granted visa-free entry into eight additional African countries.
Although the minister did not disclose the names of the countries involved, he remarked that he is confident the pact will pave way for other counties to follow suit.
“We believe we can just start off, eight countries and they agree among themselves, then others will come in”, he assured.
Onyeama who described Africa as the centerpiece of Nigeria’s foreign policy also noted that “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”
As at the end of President Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure, Nigerian passport holders can be granted visa free entry to over forty countries with nearly half of those countries providing a visa on arrival after presenting all necessary documents.
While ECOWAS member countries are visa free for Nigerian passport holders, other countries require a visa on arrival from a duration of as little as 30 days to 6 months.
Author: Aderonke Adeleke
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