By Adeniyi Ogunfowoke
Managing Director of Jumia Hotel and Flight Marketplace, Ms Omolara Adagunodo, has urged the federal government through the Nigerian Immigration Service to extend visa on arrival (VOA) to international tourists trooping into the country for leisure.
Ms Adagunodo made this known at a recent tourism conference in Lagos, stressing that, “Foreign investors or business persons of international repute, executives of multinational companies and members of government delegations are all eligible to apply for Visa on Arrival but not international tourists who are coming to explore Nigeria’s rich destinations and spend money.”
Ms Adagunodo, who commended the efforts of the federal government in making the visa application process seamless, emphasised that from the numbers available to Jumia via the Jumia Hospitality Report 2018, there are tons of people who are willing to visit the country if the provision for visa on arrival can be extended to international tourists.
“We discovered that there was an increase in the number of international arrival in 2017. Unlike in 2016 where the country recorded a low influx of international tourists due to the security issues orchestrated by the terrorist group, Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria, the country welcomed 1.065 million international tourists, generating over N278 billion in revenue. According to forecast, Nigeria would have played host to 1.067 million foreigners by end of 2018.”
“These numbers simply show that there are so many people who are willing to visit Nigeria and we strongly believe that if the federal government’s visa on arrival policy accommodates international tourists, these figures will be met and surpassed. It will not only boost tourism but also improve tourism’s contribution to Nigeria’s economy,” she added.
It is noteworthy to add that countries like Ethiopia and Botswana recently announced that they will introduce visa on arrival at the point of entry. Botswana will offer tourist’ visa at the point of entry, effective 24th November 2018 while Ethiopia started issuing visa on arrival to all African travellers starting November 9, 2018.
Ms Adagunodo emphasized that the introduction of the visa on arrival for international tourists will further help Nigeria meet the 2020 deadline set by the African Union for visa-free travel for African citizens within their own continent.
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