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    Thursday, 26 May 2016

    Nigeria To Sign Visa-Free Pacts With 8 Countries

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, says Nigeria will soon sign visa-free pacts with a bloc of eight African countries to promote economic partnership.

    Onyeama announced this in Abuja at a news conference to mark one year of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration.
    “It is expected that there will be upsurge in economic activities,” he said.
    “Africa is the centrepiece of our foreign policy but it is a paradox that as a Nigerian, you cannot go to an African country without a visa unlike what is obtainable in Western Europe.
    “To address this as a leader in the continent, the country is at a point of introducing an initiative to promote African trade as part of the country’s foreign policy of Africa as the centrepiece.
    “What we are trying to do at the ministry is to promote visa-free, free movement of business people.
    “We want to start with about eight countries or see if they come up as a group of eight countries. At the presidential level, they agreed to that, and signed up to free movement.
    “If we can achieve that within a year, then other countries may want to join and we believe this is a better way to go than institutional ECOWAS etc, as countries take so long to ratify agreements.
    “We believe we can just start off, eight countries and they agree among themselves, then others will come in,” he said.

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