The Nigerian President announced yesterday in Egypt, that The country Nigeria is now Visa Free to all Africans. This development when finalized would make it very easy for African passport holders of other African countries to easily travel to Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. The country will begin issuing visas on arrival for all African nationals, Starting January.
The official twitter handle of the Presidency further announced it to today in a tweet.
President Buhari made this announcement while attending a peace and development summit in Aswan Egypt.
“We in Nigeria have already taken the strategic decision to bring down barriers that have hindered the free movement of our people within the continent by introducing the issuance of visa at the point of entry into Nigeria to all persons holding passports of African countries with effect from January 2020,” Buhari said.
“We should furthermore promote free trade within and amongst Africa and Africans especially now that we have launched the African Free Trade Area Agreement”, the President added.
The change in visa policy by Nigeria comes on back of the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, a treaty seeking to establish a continent-wide marketplace with increased trade and freer movement among its major pillars. When the new policy is implemented, Nigeria will also join Kenya as well as Ethiopia as countries which have recently established visa on arrival policies for all African nationals.
With the African Union strongly pushing for more integration on the continent, it will likely be banking on the effect of reciprocity to see even more African countries adopt visa-free or visa on arrival policies for African passport holders. Should that happen, current realities which see Americans and Europeans travel more easily across the continent than Africans may yet be reversed.
This announcement is also a tad ironical as Nigeria has closed its land bothers in a bid to combat smuggling in the country.