13 November 2012

Nigeria visa processing time to be cut to 48 hours

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Nigeria's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, has said Nigeria visa processing times need to be drastically cut in order to promote investment and tourism to the country.

Nigeria visa

Nigeria has missions in countries across the world.

In order to achieve this goal, Mr Ashiru has tasked all Nigerian missions abroad with reducing Nigeria visa processing times down to as little as 48 hours.

The minister made his announcement during a meeting with the Heads of Nigerian Mission at Nigeria House in New York; Mr Ashiru signed a 'Performance Contract' with the mission heads and declared the days of visa delays were over.

"All heads of Nigerian Mission abroad would be required to enter into this contract with me so that Nigerians in Diaspora can be better assured of improved service delivery in a manner that justifies the huge investment in the operations of Nigerian missions abroad," a diplomatic source quoted the minister as saying.

"Heads of missions are to hold their individual officers accountable for the delivery of agreed outcome such as the number and timeliness of visas and passports issued, the periodicity and quality of reports that are rendered, among other deliverables."

The minister's declaration has come at a time when Nigeria's position as an African leader is solidifying despite concerns of lopsided trade agreements with countries such as Russia.

"To change this paradigm, it has been my determination to deploy foreign policy as an instrument of economic development in a manner that facilitates job creation and wealth for the Nigerian people."

While Mr Ashiru said each mission would be responsible for achieving the stated goal, he stated the goal had been broken down into specific expectations that would allow each mission to be held accountable for both success and failure.

"For us in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is no longer the case to argue that our output is intangible and therefore hardly susceptible to performance evaluation."


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