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Nigeria Eases Visa For Foreigners

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With an eye on boosting the economy, Nigeria has eased the visa processes for foreigners who wish to visit Nigeria for business and tourism, by removing some of the bureaucratic bottlenecks.

Nigerians are also beneficiaries of the review. Henceforth, passport re-issuance has been decentralized and Nigerians do not any longer need to come to Abuja to get this done.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the measures were part of the action plan for the ease of doing business as well as efforts to boost tourism, within the overall context of the Administration’s economic diversification agenda.

”The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has reviewed the requirements for Nigerian visas to make them more customer friendly, and details of this review are available on the NIS official website, www.immigration.gov.ng. Types of visas currently reviewed include Visa on Arrival (VoA) processes, Business Visas, Tourist Visas and Transit Visas,” the Minister said.

Alhaji Mohammed explained that Business Visas are available for foreign travellers who wish to travel to Nigeria for Meetings,Conferences, Seminars, Contract Negotiation, Marketing, Sales,Purchase and distribution of Nigerian Goods, Trade Fairs, Job Interviews, Training of Nigerians, Emergency/Relief work, Crew members, Staff of NGOs, Staff of INGOs, Researchers and Musical Concerts.

He said Tourist Visas are also available to foreign travelers who wish to visit Nigeria for the purpose of tourism or to visit family and friends while Nigeria Visa on Arrival is a class of short visit visa issued at the port of entry, and it is available to frequently-travelled High-Net-Worth Investors and intending visitors who may not be able to obtain visa at the Nigerian Missions/Embassies in their countries of residence due to the absence of a Nigerian mission in those countries or exigencies of urgent business travels.

The Minister said other actions that have been taken by the NIS for the ease of doing business and facilitation of travelling for
Nigerians and foreigners alike include the harmonization of multiplicity of Airport Arrival and Departure Form/Cards into a single form for all agencies of government to save foreign visitors from the current frustrating practice of filling 3 different forms or more and the decentralization of Immigration services to the State Commands

”Re-issuance of passports for change of names due to marital reasons or lost cases have been decentralized to all State Commands and Foreign Missions to save passport holders from additional costs and inconvenience of travelling to the Service Headquarters in Abuja,while additional 28 offices have been opened for issuance of Residence Permits in Nigeria, bringing the issuance of Combined Expatriate Residence Permit And Aliens Cards (CERPAC) closer to the doorstep of employers of expatriates at all 36 states and FCT,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said the measures by NIS fit perfectly into the 60-day national action plan for ease of doing business in Nigeria that was approved recently by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), as well as the Administration’s efforts to boost
international tourism.

 

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We Deliberately Shut Down Refineries – NNPC GMD

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We Deliberately Shut Down Refineries – NNPC GMD

NNPC boss, Mele Kyari

The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, has expressed that the corporation deliberately shut down the nation’s refineries because they became unsustainable.

The GMD disclosed this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Upstream in Abuja.

He pointed out that the NNPC was unable to supply crude oil to the refineries, adding that the Excravos pipeline is the only one the NNPC managed to sustain through the contracting process.

He went on to express that it is practically impossible to run pipelines at their optimum capacity.

Also ReadBREAKING: NNPC Raises Petrol Depot Price, Marketers To Sell At N168-N170/Litre

“For instance, to run Kaduna and Warri refinery, you need to deliver 170,000 barrel of oil per day so that both will operate at 70 percent capacity,” he said.

Kyari said that at the moment, it only had over 5,000 kilometers of pipelines with 13 fuel depots, which according to him must be protected to forestall the activities of vandals.

“And I can tell you today that except the Atlas cove to Ibadan line and also the Portharcourt to Aba line, none of these pipelines is serviced.

“We cannot flow product into these lines, the cheap one is to say they are aged but the real reason is that the level of activities of vandals on these lines is gross, monumental, and profound.

“At every point within a month we fix 80 vandal points, the option is to shut them down and the result of having one depot is what we have seen in Lagos,” he said.

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Lai Mohammed Denies Announcing N5m Hate Speech Fine

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Minister Of Information, Lai Mohammed, Denies Announcing N5m Hate Speech Fine

Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has denied that he announced the increment of the speech fine from N500,000 to N5 million.

He made this known in a counter-affidavit in response to a suit filed against him at a federal high court in Lagos.

Recall that some months ago, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) announced an amendment to the broadcasting code, where the increment of the new fine was announced.

Recall that weeks after the announcement, NBC fined Nigeria Info FM for alleged hate speech after interviewing Obadiah Mailafia, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who alleged that a northern governor is one of the leaders of Boko Haram.

However, Human Rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong proceeded to the court to challenge the fine.

Also Read: BREAKING: NBC Fines Radio Station N5m For Hate Speech

However, in the affidavit deposed by Sunday Ojobo, an official of the Information ministry, the minister said he never announced the increase of the hate speech fine.

“Paragraph 19 is denied. The 2nd defendant (Mohammed) did not announce an increment in any fine for hate speech from N500,000 to N5,000,000 or any other because there is a governmental body or institution mandated to regulate and enforce the Nigerian Broadcasting Code,” an affidavit deposed to by a Litigation Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Sunday Ojobo, reads.

The minister further stated that the constitution allows for human rights to be suspended for the sake of national interest.

He wrote, “The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for derogation from fundamental rights in the interest of public safety, public order and for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons.”

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‘Nothing To Forgive:’ Soyinka Speaks About Relationship With Gowon

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‘Nothing To Forgive:’ Soyinka Speaks About Relationship With Gowon

Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka has commented on his relationship with former Head of State Yakubu Gowon.

Soyinka was in August 1967 arrested and placed in solitary confinement just as the Civil War started under Gowon’s regime.

Speaking about their relationship, Soyinka explained that there is no bad blood between him and Gowon and he does not think there is anything to forgive him (Gowon) about.

“We communicate whenever possible, he came for my birthday in Abeokuta here. And when he started to apologise – he made a public apology – I said, ‘There is no need for it,’” the playwright who was detained by the Gowon government for two years, in the wake of the Nigerian Civil War, told Channels Television.

Also Read: Gowon: AfDB President Adesina Warns Against Misinformation

Soyinka also revealed that General Gowon had on various occasions made efforts to meet him so they could talk.

He added; “He even asked the former ambassador to locate me so that anytime he was passing – I was in Europe and America then – so we could meet and talk. And I said, ‘any time’ but there is really nothing much to talk about.”

The playwright further disclosed that they later met at a conference and they talked about the Nigerian Civil War.

He said; “We hit it on very well and we joked. The ice was broken and since then, we have been friends.”

“The war, for me, is over.’ The ones I find difficult to forgive are those who lied against me. I don’t like liars; I just cannot stand liars.”

The former Head of State has been in the news in recent days over allegations that he embezzled half of the money in the Central Bank of Nigeria during his regime.

 

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