Nigeria is set to roll out the visa on arrival for all Africans entering the country, with effect from January 2020. The move is aimed at supporting the free movement of Africans within Africa.
If implemented, Nigeria will join Kenya and Ethiopia as countries which have recently established visa on arrival policies for all African nationals. This, therefore, means that visitors will not need to fill out paperwork before they arrive. They can make the journey and get visas upon arrival at any of Nigeria’s entry points.
The adoption of visa on arrival by African countries is in line with the Free Movement of Persons and the African Passport policy adopted by the African Union in 2016.
The AU is pushing for a single passport for all African nationals. This will thus enable them to travel across the continent without requiring visas. It unveiled an AU passport in 2016, issuing it to heads of state and diplomats. However, no country has as yet given it to ordinary citizens.
As reported by the BBC, the directive expects African states to adopt the African passport and work closely with the AU Commission to facilitate its issuance at the national level based on international, continental and national policy provisions and continental design and specifications.
Research released by the African Development Bank (ADB) also showed that Africans need visas to travel to just under half (49%) of other African countries. They could get visas on arrival in just over a quarter (26%) of states and did not need visas in a quarter (25%) of countries.