The Federal Government has approved visa on arrival, to all countries coming into Nigeria to do business, as way of boosting the country’s bilateral relationship with other nations.
Disclosing this yesterday in Abuja, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah stated that government has imposed 48 hours rule to Nigerian Mission on visa issuance to ensure that people coming into Nigeria to do business get easy pass.
Enelamah noted that “visa on arrival procedure is now fully operational” adding that all countries are eligible.
This is even as the Minister has praised the presidential programme called Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Clinic, stating that “the programme is a means of taking service to the people rather waiting for the people come to you will their problem. The ideal of the clinic is to have all the key government agencies at the top who are relevant in lending services to people where the clinics are located”
He said, the programme witnessed a huge success in Aba where it was launched by the vice President. “In Aba, they set up a stand and the MSMEs came and registered and had conservations with people in authority, they asked questions and they got answers to their questions.”
Speaking further on MSMEs, the Minister said that the Ministry has secured a grant of over $600,000 from the African Development Bank (AFDB) for predevelopment study towards the conversion of 6 out of the 23 Industrial development Centers (IDC) to Industrial Clusters.
According to him, “this will resuscitate the IDCs and position them to be a catalyst for economic development. The findings of the study are expected to provide bankable centers to be converted into full blown economic clusters where private participation and investment will be sought”.
Enelamah also spoke about trade Policy, needed to boost the investment of Nigeria. He noted that, “when you do trade policy review, it is a wide raking efforts that involves engaging stakeholders from the economy to get their input on how the trade policy is working for them, it involves engaging the trade experts to advice you, you also engage the international agency on trade especially the World Trade Organization so as to have comprehensive and balance policy”.
On the current state of the state of the country’s trade policy, Enelamah noted that, “the process of negotiations started last year, it will conclude this year. Where we are now is at consultation level, which is ongoing and we are expected to wrap it up before the second quarter of this year”.
Enelamah assured Nigerians that government is working on Trade policy that will bring about a lot of ease in doing business in the country. “The most successful one (policy) is cement, basically by supporting the cement manufacturers, they have actually made themselves self-sufficient to the point of now exporting cement” he stated.
The Minister praised the ratification of Nigeria Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) stating that, when implemented, the TFA will radically increase the volume and value of trade in goods, increase revenue generation, create opportunity for more jobs and expand the economy of the country.
The TFA basically contains the rules that simplify trade, eliminate barriers, reduces red tape and ensures speedy customs clearance for member countries.