Nigeria Anti-Tourist Visa Policy need serious overhauling. I recently visited Nigeria and wrote a full article detailing what is affecting the growth of Nigeria tourism that is available in the latest edition of ComeToNigeria Magazine. I am asking for a quick policy change from government. You can read part of my story titled here, ‘Nigeria Anti-Tourist Visa Policy’.
Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa, but is near last place in attracting part of the multi- $trillion dollar tourism industry. Tourism brings foreign exchange with every plane load of tourists landing. Making it to the people at the grassroots levels by way of hotels, transportation, tourist attractions, restaurants, guides, and artists, to name a few. Out of 188 countries in the world who listed their tourist number in www.indexmundi.com, Nigeria is number 125. Here are the African countries surpassing Nigeria;
- South Africa #32 with over 9.5 million tourists
- Uganda #98
- Kenya #98
- Namibia #100
- Tanzania # 101
- Ghana # 102
- Lesotho #103
- Cameron #113
- Senegal # 118
- Sudan # 123
- Nigeria #125 with just 600,000 tourists in 2013 last year reported.
You may ask WHY this is happening. The winners don’t require Visas or are very easy to obtain. Out of 195 countries, 176 do not require US passport holders and some advanced western countries nationals to get a Visa to enter their country. This is what Nigeria requires for a tourist visa to be obtained from their embassy at a cost of over $350;
- copy of roundtrip airplane ticket.
- 1 recent passport size photo
- $30 money order for processing
- letter of financial responsibility from a Nigerian
- copy of host Nigerian passport
- US passport
- fill out online a Visa application
- pay $180 online for the application
- US Parcel Express mailed with return postage to either Atlanta or New York City Nigerian Embassies.
- After the package was delivered another vendor called for $96.60 money order to process Visa.
Tourists have a decision of where to go. They either look at somewhere with easy access instead of somewhere with hours of process and weeks of waiting for Visas with additional costs.
When income generated from oil that helps the country foreign exchange capacity come to Nigeria, it has a lot of channels to go through before it make it to the hands of the people. With each channel, corruption and graft can diminish the amount getting to the citizens of Nigeria. Nigeria is missing out on $billions of easy tourism generated income due to antiquated policies. It is high time that Nigeria Anti-Tourist Visa Policy is changed. The government we have so many policies that encourages investments in tourism but no actual policy to promote Nigeria as a destination. To read the full story make sure you get a copy of the latest edition of ComeToNigeria Magazine.