The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the full implementation of a new visa reciprocity policy for citizens of the United States of America with effect from 1st March 2023.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, gave the directive following the approval for the implementation of the new Bilateral Consular Policy Agreements between the governments of Nigeria and the United States of America.
The agreements amongst others include: The reciprocity of five (5) year tourist visa validity for American citizens pursuant to Section 30 of the Immigration Act, 2015; and Extension of visa validity to three (3) years for Diplomats and government officials between the citizens of Nigeria and the United States of America.
Consequently, the Minister of Interior has directed the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, to start the implementation of the policy from 1st March 2023.
Nigerians will recall that President Muhammadu Buhari launched the new Nigeria Visa Policy (NPV) in 2020, which amongst other things promote tourism.
Tourist Visa falls under the Short Visit Visa (F5A) category. This policy is in line with Mr. President’s desire to boost cultural exchange and business between both nations.
As part of the Bilateral Agreement, the United States of America will implement a similar policy for Nigerians wishing to travel on Tourist Visas to the United States and for our diplomats and officials visiting the country. The United States will thus extend Tourist Visa Validity for Nigerian citizens to five (5) years.
The Minister also enjoined all registered voters in Nigeria to come out on 25th Saturday February, 2023 to exercise their franchise, promising a safe and secure environment before, during and after the elections.
He noted that in exercising their civil democratic right for the Presidential and National Assembly elections, it is important that all hands should be on deck to make the exercise peaceful, safe and successful.
Internal movements have been restricted to the polling units. There will also be no movement of persons across national borders. Law enforcement agencies are required to use all means necessary in providing security for lives and property at the polling units, in the streets and at the borders.
Every threat must be contained and assurances must be given for lives and property and for the success of the elections.
The Federal Government has put in place all necessary measures to ensure the security of lives and property and the success of the elections.
Nigerians are enjoined to be calm and peaceful in their conduct, quietly cast their votes and shun any act capable of putting this democratic festival in jeopardy.
The Minister admonished Nigerians to be vigilant and report any suspicious persons or activities to the nearest security agency or on the N-Alert application online.
He wishes all Nigerians a very peaceful and successful elections.