By Levinus Nwabughiogu,
ABUJA—Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said government was seriously considering the option of issuing visa on arrival to foreign investors and other businessmen from outside the country.
This, he said, was to help remove many perceived bureaucratic bottlenecks that had clogged the business climate in Nigeria.
Osinbajo, who spoke at the public presentation and first annual lecture of The Interview magazine to mark the first anniversary of the publication, in Abuja, recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had already inaugurated a committee on enabling environment for business to thrive.
According to him, the responsibility of the committee, which he chairs, is to move Nigeria up by 50 spaces on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index before end of 2017.
Speaking on the theme of the event, Why start-ups fail and strategies to save them, the Vice President said it was the responsibility of the government to create the enabling environment for business to thrive, assuring that the present administration was committed to doing that.
He said: “The business of the government is to provide the right environment for start-ups. The problem, in most cases, and which we have experienced in Nigeria, is that our approval processes are needlessly difficult.
“Bureaucracy generally gets caught in seeing the process as an end in itself not as a means to an end.
“The visa on arrival is one that is already in the regulations but that usually involves your applying ahead.
“But the kind of visa on arrival that we think will free up the process is one which you are able to arrive here and get your visa on arrival as you make your application here.”
Also speaking at the event, chairman of the occasion and Katsina State governor, Aminu Masari, underscored the role of the media in nation-building, stating that peace was paramount.
He said the dwindling price of crude oil, insurgency as well as militancy and herdsmen/farmers conflicts had compounded the nation’s woes.