Nigeria demands for Visa-free Regime Among C’wealth Countries

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Prof. Viola Onwuliri,The Supervising Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, said in Abuja that Nigeria with other countries will call for the adoption of a visa-free regime for Commonwealth countries in the ongoing Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo, Sri Lank.

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Onwuliri said that Vice-President Namadi Sambo would lead a delegation of top ranking Nigerian officials to the biennial meeting of the 53-member union in Colombo during the week.

She cited the report of Ramphal Institute on Movement of Commonwealth Citizens across borders, which captures the growing political will among member countries for a visa-free regime.

“Our interim position is for the introduction of a pilot scheme which will facilitate a visa-free regime with the commonwealth countries for holders of diplomatic and official passports.

“There is no doubt that a visa-free regime will promote trade, tourism and investments while enhancing the value of Commonwealth membership to citizens,’’ she said.

The minister also said that Nigeria would support the strengthening of Commonwealth Youth Programme to address unemployment.

She said Nigeria would push for additional financing for the programme and private sector partnership to help the scheme to deliver on its core mandate.

Commenting on the decision of India and Canada to boycott the summit, Onwuliri said the decision would not upset the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting.

She said: “We have a community of about 53 member states and there are no meetings where you get 100 per cent attendance. Nations have the right to express themselves but if the commonwealth has decided the meeting will hold, the meeting will hold and those who can attend will attend,’’ she said.

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsolahttps://naija247news.com
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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