By Vera Samuel Anyagafu
Many Indonesians want to come to Nigeria either for tourism or business opportunities but they are held back for one reason: the visa fee to enter Nigeria is very prohibitive.
The Indonesian authorities have therefore lodged an appeal before the Nigerian government to review the visa policy to enable Many Indonesia nationals visit Nigeria.
In an interview with Saturday Vanguard, Indonesian ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Harry Purwanto lamented that not many Indonesians are living in Nigeria because the visa fee to enter the country is very high. According to him, “the single entry visa fee to enter Nigeria from Indonesia is $245 for regular passport bearers. It is the most expensive visa fee for Indonesians planning to travel abroad. Whereas a single entry visa to enter Indonesia from Nigeria is just $50 for regular passports.
“We have submitted inquiries to the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to review Nigeria’s visa policy to Indonesians. Such review would enable Nigeria to be one of Indonesia’s frequent travelling destinations, which in turn may also increase investment from Indonesian business communities as well as exchange of Indonesian and Nigerian scholars/experts”.
The ambassador also disclosed that drug trafficking has been a very serious challenge in Indonesia as between 30 and 50 Indonesians were dying every day from drug abuse. According to statistics, in 2014, 4.5 million Indonesians were in need of rehabilitation from illicit drugs.
The critical state of drug abuse in Indonesia therefore prompted the Indonesian president after his inauguration in 2014 to take a drastic step.
He listed drug trafficking as one of 16 serious offences that attract death penalty as he declared that “there would be no clemency for drug-related cases”.