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Comptroller-General of Immigration, Muhammad Babandede

Immigration boss, Babandede says visa reforms will encourage investment

The ongoing visa reforms of the Federal Government will aid the ease of doing business in Nigeria as well as encourage Foreign Direct investment (FDI) to the country, according to the Comptroller-General of Immigration, Muhammad Babandede.

The CGI made this known while calling 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 as he entertained the Turkish Ambassador, His Excellency Cakil Hakan at the Immigration Headquarters in Abuja.

In a statement signed by Service Public Relations Officer, Ekpedeme King and obtained by Nigerianflightdeck.com, Babandede said the visa facility which 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).

Speaking further on the issue, the Immigration boss also said that “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 also empowers him to issue Permanent Residence Visas to foreign nationals who are married to Nigerians and to foreign investors who have imported an annual minimum threshold of capital over a period of time.

The CGI said that he “intends to use the Visa reforms expeditiously and transparently in line with President Buhari’s stance on public accountability.”

Babandede also disclosed that he has set up a committee to clearly articulate the visa reforms to enable the Service sensitize the public appropriately.

Earlier, the Turkish Ambassador, His Excellency, Cakil Hakan had extolled the cordial relationship between Nigeria and his country.

He pointed out that Nigeria was the first country in Africa to host a Turkish Mission. According to the Ambassador, approximately 25,000 Nigerians arrived at Istanbul in 2015, out of which 18,000 were issued online visas.

According to him, there are daily flights from Abuja and Lagos to Istanbul with Turkish Airline making preparations to launch a second daily flight from Lagos, when other airlines are pulling out of Nigeria.

The Ambassador re-iterated that he was at the NIS Headquarters to seek areas of collaboration noting that the 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.

 

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