Africa’s Unity Threatened As Ethiopia Cancels Visa On Arrival For Nigerian Citizens

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The Federal Government has alerted Nigerians to Ethiopian government’s suspension of visa on arrival policy.

The suspension is to non-resident foreigners at all points of entry.

A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria said the Ethiopian Government blamed security concerns for the suspension.

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Consequently, prospective travellers to the East African country are now expected to obtain an entry visa at the Ethiopian embassy.

The latest restriction measure came into effect on September 29, 2022.

The statement by spokesperson of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Francisca K. Omayuli, also listed the political situation for the action.

The statement, titled: Travel Advisory for holders of Nigerian Standard Passports Travelling to Ethiopia, reads: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria wishes to inform the general public that the Federal Government of Ethiopia has suspended issuance of ‘visa on arrival’ to non-resident foreigners at all points of entry into the country, over security concerns and the current political situation in that country.

“The suspension applies to nationals of all countries bearing Standard Passports who seek entry into Ethiopia and not specifically targeted at Nigerians, as reported in some quarters.

“The Ethiopian authorities have explained that the measure is aimed at better border control of movement of persons into Ethiopia in view of the ongoing armed conflict in the northern part of the country. The measure is said to be temporary, pending improvement in the security situation in the country and not a replacement of Ethiopia’s open visa policy.

“Therefore, Nigerians bearing Standard Passports intending to travel to Ethiopia are, by this notification, advised to obtain appropriate entry visas at the Ethiopian Embassy or an electronic visa (e-visa) through the country’s Immigration and Citizenship Service (ICS) portal at www.evisa.gov.et.

“Also, those transiting through Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to other destinations or intend to briefly stop over would require valid entry visa to enable them access hotel facilities in the city or else would be obligated to remain in the airport pending their connecting flight.

“The new temporary visa restriction measure came into effect on September 29, 2022. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will liaise with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and relevant airlines to ensure that intending Nigerian travellers en route Ethiopia are well sensitised.

“The general public is invited to take note of the new visa regime of the Federal Government of Ethiopia and be guided accordingly.”

Also, the Federal Government of Nigeria has noted the concern expressed by the Ethiopian authorities over the abuse of the country’s visa policy by some Nigerians who enter the country on tourist visas and remain even after the expiration of their visas while engaging in unwholesome activities.

The Nigerian Government noted that the activities of such few elements not only tarnish the image of the country but limit opportunities for well-meaning Nigerians outside the country. Such persons, the government stressed, are enjoined to turn a new leaf and take advantage of the opportunity provided by the Ethiopian National Security Agencies to participate in the ongoing registration of undocumented migrants to avoid unpleasant situations.