Nigeria, U.S. Visa Fees Spat: Matters Arising

U.S. President Donald Trump

As a nation in dire need of jobs for its teeming population and foreign funds for national development, Nigeria has no business demanding any visa fees from visitors to the country – if only we understand the dynamics of the global neo-liberal economic system.
Nigeria’s recent humiliating capitulation over visa fees under the pressure of diplomatic reciprocity from the United States (U.S) would not have occurred in the first place therefore, if our foreign policy makers have realized that the current model is outdated and counter-productive to our national interest and the nation-building agenda – even if it appears to be the default in international diplomacy.
Nevertheless, that incident presents a prime opportunity to reset Nigeria’s diplomatic relations with the world on a better, mutually beneficial template.
In our view, Nigeria should give only three conditions to all visitors: One, get a security clearance from your home government. Two, book and pay in full for your hotel accommodation, online, before leaving your country of origin for Nigeria. And three, travel to Nigeria with at least $5,000 (Five thousand United States dollars only) per week and for every week you plan to spend in Nigeria, either cash or already wired to Nigeria – and get your visa at any port of entry to Nigeria after meeting these requirements.
All monies wired upfront and cash carried by visitors should be changed into Naira at Nigerian bank’s branches domiciled at all ports of entry and loaded on an automated teller machine (ATM) card for visitors’ use as Nigerians do at ATMs and point-of-sale terminals (POS).
Cash requirement threshold should be higher for immigrants and investors.
This innovative rejig of the Nigerian visa issuance system should save the country huge overhead expended on visa officials around the world; improve our cache or inflow of forex directly to Nigeria’s coffers at home; ease travels and inflow of Foreign Direct Investments to our country, among other ancillary benefits to the Nigerian economy.
We urge President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to liaise with other relevant agencies to reappraise the nation’s current visa issuance regime and come up with a new system in line with the inventive proposition herein enunciated in brief.

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