Visas-on-arrival for Nigerians has been abolished by the Ethiopian government with immediate effect.
The administration announced on Tuesday that visitors would need to secure their visas at its embassy in Abuja before beginning any trip to the nation.
This development comes just two weeks after Nigeria Air, the nation’s airline, revealed Ethiopian Airlines as its primary shareholder with a 49 per cent stake.
“Please, be informed that effective immediately, no more visas on arrival for Nigerian citizens,” the email reads in part.
The reason for cancelling the Nigerians’ visas-on-arrival was not disclosed by the embassy.
However, it said that the new rule did not apply to those who were passing through Addis Ababa overnight.
The statement added that passengers having a layover in Addis and departing the next morning for Zanzibar, Seychelles, Lusaka, Lilongwe, Harare, Cape Town, etc., are not affected by the prohibition and do not require a transit visa for their flights.
In addition, Ethiopia required that travelers from Nigeria and 42 other African nations show their certificates of immunization against yellow fever at any of its borders.
Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritania, and Niger are among the nations.
Others include French Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, South Sudan, Uganda, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, and Venezuela.
Senait Ataklet, traffic and sales manager for Ethiopian Airlines, commented on the situation and said that the country had just instituted an online visa application process rather than outright banning Nigerians.
According to Ataklet, Nigerians will now be forced to fill out a visa-on-arrival demand form before departing under the new policy.
“The information I have it’s not a ban on arrival visa, but you know just like a Nigerian requesting, they need an online form to be filled out prior to departure for an on-arrival visa. Even though it’s on arrival visa, you need to fill an online form,” Ataklet told TheCable.
“So, it’s not banned. Before anybody can just go without applying, but when Ethiopians come to Nigeria, they need to fill out the online form on arrival. That’s the agreement, basically, that’s what they telling me now. They (Nigerians) need to fill a form an online visa-on-arrival requisition form.”