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FG: Nigerians travel to Ethiopia on tourist visas – but refuse to return

FG: Nigerians travel to Ethiopia on tourist visas – but refuse to return
October 06
16:17 2022

The federal government says Nigerians travel to Ethiopia on tourist visas, but refuse to return even after their visas expire.

The government said this in statement on Thursday, signed by Francisca Omayuli, spokesperson of the ministry of foreign affairs.

The federal described the behaviour as an abuse of Ethiopia’s visa policy, as some of these Nigerians engage in unwholesome activities.

“…the Nigerian government 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, engaging in unwholesome activities,” the statement reads.

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“The activities of these few elements not only tarnish the image of the country, but limit opportunities for well-meaning Nigerians outside the country. Such persons 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.”

The federal government’s statement was on the backdrop of the recent decision by the Ethiopian government to scrapped visas-on-arrival for Nigerians.

The development meant that travellers would need to obtain their visas at the Ethiopian embassy in Abuja before embarking on any trip to the country.

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The visa policy review had raised dust because the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had imposed travel restrictions on Nigerians; but even more so, because Ethiopia’s national carrier was recently named as the core investor in Nigeria Air — the country’s national carrier — with 49 percent shareholding.

But further speaking on the matter, the federal government said the government of Ethiopia took the decision due to security concerns and rising political tensions in the east African nation.

“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 statement further reads.

“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.

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“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 wwwteyisa.goytet. 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 29th September, 2022. The ministry of foreign affairs, will liaise with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and relevant airlines to ensure that intending Nigerian travellers enroute 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.”

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