The Federal Government has directed the full implementation of a new visa reciprocity policy for citizens of the U.S. with effect from March 1.
This is contained in a statement by the Media Adviser to the Minister of Interior, Sola Fasure, in Abuja on Friday.
According to Mr Fasure, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, gave the directive following the approval for the implementation of the new Bilateral Consular Policy Agreements between both countries.
The adviser said that the agreements, among others, include: The reciprocity of five-year tourist visa validity for U.S. citizens pursuant to Section 30 of the Immigration Act, 2015.
Others are an extension of visa validity to three years for Diplomats and government officials between the citizens of both countries.
Consequently, the minister directed the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, to commence the implementation of the policy from March 1.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the new Nigeria Visa Policy, NPV, in 2020, which amongst other things, promoted tourism.
According to him, Tourist Visa falls under the Short Visit Visa, F5A, category.
This, he said, was a policy in line with the President’s desire to boost cultural exchange and business between both nations.
He added that as part of the agreement, the U.S. would implement a similar policy for Nigerians wishing to travel on Tourist Visas to the U.S., and for diplomats and officials visiting the country.
Mr Fasure said that the U.S., as part of the agreement, would extend Tourist Visa Validity for Nigerian citizens to five years.
The minister also enjoined all registered voters in Nigeria to come out on election day to exercise their franchise.
He also promised a safe and secure environment before, during and after the general elections.
Mr Aregbesola said that while exercising their civil democratic right for the elections, it was important that all hands be on deck to make the exercise peaceful, safe and successful.
“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 for the success of the elections.”
He also assured that the federal government has put in place all necessary measures to ensure the security of lives and property and the success of the elections.
The minister further enjoined Nigerians to be calm and peaceful in their conduct, quietly cast their votes and shun any act capable of putting the nation’s democratic festival in jeopardy.
He also admonished Nigerians to be vigilant and report any suspicious persons or activities to the nearest security agency or on the N-Alert application online.
He wished all Nigerians a very peaceful and successful election.