Nigeria and the Republic of Namibia have agreed to strengthen cooperation in areas that will be beneficial to both countries in particular and the African continent.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama disclosed this on Wednesday in a statement by his Special Assistant, Media, Ms. Sarah Sanda.
Onyeama said that the agreement was reached at a meeting in Windhoek with Namibian Ministers led by the country’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mrs. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah. He said that the agreed mechanism for achieving this was through a meeting of the Joint Commission which will be held in 2020.
“We addressed recent issues regarding the issuance of visas to Namibians and Nigerians and entry into Namibia for Nigerians and reached very important and concrete agreements in respect of those. “Any Namibian wishing to obtain a visa to Nigeria can apply and will be considered as that was the case in the past.
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“Once the requirements are met, such a person will be issued a visa. It applies to a Nigerian wishing to go to Namibia,” Onyeama said.
The minister added that the meeting agreed that in the case any visa denial or of deportation, visas would not be stamped in the holders’ passport. According to him, the ministers decided that consular meetings will be held quarterly to evaluate progress.
Onyeama also said that Nigeria was working toward adopting a “visa on arrival” regime as part of the policy of “Ease of Doing Business” in Nigeria. “Online applications will facilitate that but it is still work in progress,” he said.
The minister observed that over the years, Nigeria had worked closely with Namibia through the Technical Aid Corps (TAC) programme, a mechanism through which “we support countries by sending out our brightest young professionals in various fields”.
He said that professionals in various fields including the medical to educational fields “are sent via the TAC depending on the needs of the country, for a period of time.
He said that the partnership being forged through the Joint Commission had the capacity to “transform the lives of our people in the framework of the 2063 Agenda of the African Union (AU) and the 2030 Sustainable Development goals of the UN”.
He said that the strong diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Namibia dated back to March 2, 1990, following the country’s attainment of independence.
“Since then, relations have been warm and cordial owing to the role Nigeria played during Namibia’s liberation struggle with the provision of financial, material and logistical support for SWAPO.
“In recognition of these contributions, Nigeria was recognised as a front-line state in spite of her geographical location. “The City of Windhoek renamed the street where the Nigeria High Commission is located, to General Murtala Mohammed Avenue.
“Nigeria also participated in the UN Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) that midwife Namibia’s independence, at the end of this operation, the Nigeria police was requested to remain behind and help build the new Namibian police