Nigeria and South Africa are continuing consultations on resolving visa related issues affecting both sides.
The Controller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service who is in South Africa has met with officials of South Africa’s Home Affairs Department in the capital city, Pretoria.
The meeting had the Nigerian Consular-General and the Controller-General of the Immigration heading the Nigerian side and Mr Jackson Makay, a Deputy Director-General, Immigration Services at the Department of Home Affairs at the South African side.
The closed door session lasted two hours. No formal statement was made but according to the Nigerian Consular-General, Ambassador Uche Ajulu-Okeke, the long periods Nigerians have to wait to get South African visas as well as the visa duration were some of the concerns raised.
“We both agreed in principle to smoothen things out, especially the three years business visas for business executives – 3-year multiple entry visas. We have signed the agreement, we have to get on track to implement it,” she said.
The Controller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Martin Abeshi, also revealed that the Nigerian team also addressed the visa processing duration for Nigerians at South Africa’s missions in Nigeria.
He said that there were only two staff to attend to Nigerians who have applied for visas to visit South Africa and also attend to visa requests from other countries.
The South African officials also expressed concerns at the number of Nigerians who come into South Africa as tourists and never leave.
In 2014 alone, about 70,000 of them applied for asylum in South Africa.
Both sides assured each other of sustained efforts to address the listed concerns at government-to-government level.