The Federal Government has directed the full implementation of a new visa reciprocity policy for United States of American (USA) citizens with effect from March 1, 2023.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said the directive was issued following approval for the implementation of the new Bilateral Consular Policy Agreements between the two governments.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari launched the new Nigeria Visa Policy in 2020.
He added that the policy amongst other things seeks to promote tourism and boost cultural exchange and business between both nations.
According to a statement by his media adviser, Sola Fasure, on Friday, the Minister said the agreements amongst others include the reciprocity of five-year tourist visa validity for American citizens pursuant to Section 30 of the Immigration Act, 2015; Extension of visa validity to three years for diplomats and government officials between the citizens of Nigeria and the United States of America.
He added that the Minister of Interior had directed the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, to start the implementation of the policy from March 1, 2023.
“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 State will thus extend tourist visa validity for Nigerian citizens to five years,” the statement added.
On the elections, he announced that movement across national borders had been restricted.
The statement continued, “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 the success of the elections.”
The Minister also enjoined all registered voters in Nigeria to come out on Saturday, February 25, 2023 to exercise their franchise, promising a safe and secure environment before, during, and after the elections.
He admonished Nigerians to be vigilant and report any suspicious persons or activities to the nearest security agency or on the N-Alert application online.