In a move aimed at encouraging the free circulation of people on the continent, Nigeria has announced that starting next month African passport holders can apply for a visa upon arrival in the country. This announcement was made by President Muhammadu Buhari during the Aswan Forum on peace and sustainable development that opened on Wednesday in Egypt.
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 that see Americans and Europeans travel more easily across the continent than Africans may yet be reversed.
However, this is not to say that travel to Nigeria will be entirely visa-less. Instead, those in possession of an African passport will be issued a visa upon their arrival in Nigeria.
President Buhari’s announcement comes as part of the country’s plans to make travel and tourism much easier and more appealing. Africans wanting to travel to the West African country will soon no longer have to contend with endless paperwork before making their travel plan