Nigeria Immigration Service Suspends Extra $110 Visa Fees

Recently, a new policy affecting foreigners entering the country with a Visa on Arrival was introduced at Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport. The new policy imposed an additional $90 on foreigners on arrival as Biometric Visa-On-Arrival charge and an additional $20 as processing fees. This newly imposed fee was regardless of the Visa Fees these foreigners must have paid in their respective countries before coming into Nigeria.

As expected there was a bit of chaos at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, on Monday when the policy was being implemented as the new immigration policy caught many foreigners arriving the country unawares. Some foreigners were forced to pay with their credit cards or contact their sponsor company in Nigeria to bear the cost. Some others were totally stranded as they weren’t granted access to the Immigration Counters till they paid the fees. It is quite surprising that even countries that had a reciprocity agreement with Nigeria exempting them from paying Visa Fees such as Mauritius, Dominica, Haiti, Fiji Island were equally not exempted from the payment of the fees.

It was gathered that concession of some of the services initially handled by the Immigration Service had been granted to private firms. The biometric visa-on arrival charges was being handled by Online Integrated Service (OIS) while the processing charge is being handled by New Works. This might have been the reason why the new policy lacked proper publicity. It was also gathered that the idea of imposing the biometric charges was borne out of reciprocity as some countries like the United Kingdom, United States of America, South Africa, Kenya and China were already imposing biometric charges on the citizens of Nigeria who travel into their countries.

In the light of the discontentment expressed by the foreigners and their representatives in Nigeria and a need for a wider publicity of the policy, the policy has been suspended. There may be a possibility that the policy will be resumed when it has been appropriately publicized but as it is now, foreigners can enter the country without paying additional visa fees in-country since they would have paid the necessary fees in their respective countries.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: Famsville Solicitors via Lexology [1]. Image sources: [1].

Nigeria’s Naira to be Added to Britain’s List of Trade Currencies

Nigeria’s currency, the naira, will become one of three West African currencies that the United Kingdom’s export finance agency will add to its list of pre-approved currencies, allowing it to provide financing for transactions with Nigerian businesses denominated in the local currency. The other two currencies have not yet been disclosed.

Paul Arkwright, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, stated that this is a clear indication of how much value the UK places on its relationship with Nigeria, and that it will provide a firm foundation for a significant increase in trade and investment between both countries.

Britain voted in 2016 to leave the European Union, which has forced London to rethink its trade ties with the rest of the world. The UK and the EU struck an agreement in December that opened the way for talks on future trade ties.

The naira financing will follow the same structure as a someone buying in Britain’s sterling, except that Nigerian firms taking out a loan in the local currency can benefit from a UK government-backed guarantee.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Source: [1]. Image source: [1].

Radisson Blu Hotels Aiming for 40 Locations in Nigeria

Upscale international hotel chain Radisson Blu aims to have 40 locations in Nigeria.

Radisson Blu operates as part of the Radisson Hotel Group, one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, headquartered in Minnesota, USA. The Radisson Blu brand has the largest pipeline of hotel rooms in Africa, according to a study prepared by W-Hospitality.

In a recent interview, William McIntyre, a Radisson Group regional director, said that the Radisson Blu brand is the fastest expanding hotel brand in Africa, and that the group currently has 85 hotels in Africa, either open or under development. McIntyre noted the significance of Nigeria, with its being the largest market on the continent and presenting an opportunity for large-scale expansion of Radisson operations.

Radisson has 9 hotels in Nigeria, with a long-term goal of having 40 operating simultaneously throughout the country. The group is operating in Abeokuta and Lagos, and has signed deals in Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Abeokuta.

In terms of security, the group has a strong safety and security team, and multiple measures in place to detect, avoid, and manage various crisis instances, with regular training for the broader teams, and, most importantly, the hotel staff.

McIntyre said the group has a strong entrepreneurial spirit, is always willing to be flexible, and is an ideal fit for Nigeria. When asked what Radisson Blu’s unique selling point was, McIntyre said the group’s hotels are sophisticated, iconic and stylish, and that customer’s needs are anticipated. He further said that guests are engaged with on a personal level, and are provided with an experience that leaves them with more memorable moments in contrast to competitors. Finally, McIntyre said that the group makes its relationships with its stakeholders – from guests, to owners, to customers, to suppliers – its priority.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Source: [1], [2], [3], [4]. Image source: [1].

Immigration changes in Ghana and Nigeria

GHANA | Recent Announcement Requires Medical Certificates to Be Obtained In-Country 

The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) recently posted a brief announcement of a new policy – purportedly with an effective date of February 15 – requiring all new applicants for work and residence permits to obtain medical certificates only through the GIS medical facility at its headquarters in Ghana. Previously, medical certificates in support of a work permit applications could be issued by a local doctor in the applicant’s home country.

The practical implication of the announcement and new policy is somewhat unclear, as work permit applications are typically made before the applicant travels to Ghana. If this new policy is implemented, it will have significant impact for the work permit application process. Immigration Specialists in Ghana are struggling to sort-out the new policy; however, thus far, the GIS has released no further guidance.

 

 

NIGERIA | New Executive Order Imposes Tougher Local Hiring Measures
On February 2, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari signed an executive order (EO5) aimed at promoting local Nigerian expertise in science, engineering, and technology. EO5 prohibits the federal Ministry of Interior (FMI) from issuing visas to foreign workers whose skills are deemed to be readily available in Nigeria. Consideration of work visas will only be given to foreign nationals where has been certified by the appropriate governmental authority that such expertise is not available in Nigeria. Under the order, Nigerian government agencies must also give hiring preference to foreign companies and firms with demonstrable and verifiable plans for indigenous development.

While further guidelines and directives on the implementation of EO5 are expected from the authorities, the executive order is expected to have significant impact on the employment-based immigration of foreign nationals, especially in fields of science, engineering, and technology. Companies hiring foreign workers should expect more rigorous scrutiny of applications for expatriate quotas and the stricter application of requirements such as the understudies requirement, registration with professional bodies, and more onsite visits and audits by Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).

 

Source

Nigerian President Signs Order Promoting Local Jobs

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari recently signed an executive order aimed at promoting local content.

“Presidential executive order 5 (EO5) for planning and execution of projects, promotion of Nigerian content in
contracts and science, engineering and technology” seeks to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components, and has been implemented with immediate effect.

EO5 has some impact on existing immigration practice:

  • It prohibits the Ministry of Interior from giving visas to foreign workers whose
    skills are readily available in Nigeria.
  • It, however, states that where expertise is lacking, procuring entities will give
    preference to foreign companies and firms with a demonstrable and verifiable plan
    for indigenous development, prior to the award of such contracts.
  • Consideration shall only be given to a foreign professional, where it is certified by
    the appropriate authority that such expertise is not available in Nigeria.
 The implications of the executive order are as follows:
  • The application for the grant of Expatriate Quotas will be more rigorous. New
    guidelines are expected from the Federal Ministry of Interior.
  • The understudies requirement for expatriates will be closely monitored by the
    Federal Ministry of Interior (FMI) and Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), to
    ensure compliance with extant laws
  • Registration with professional bodies has thus become a strict requirement.
  • Filing of monthly expatriate quota returns will be closely monitored.
  • It is expected that there will be more onsite visits and audits by the NIS.

Further guidelines and directives are expected from the Federal Ministry of Interior and Nigeria Immigration Service on the implementation of EO5.

Sources:  Famsville Solicitors, [2]. Image source: [1].

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.