Following recent reports that the Nigerian government had confirmed plans to offer visas to African travellers upon arrival in the west African country, the Nigerian minister of information and communications, Lai Mohammed, has said such plans were untrue, according to The Washington Post.
News of Nigeria’s apparent intention to issue visas on arrival first broke following a tweet by the African Union’s (AU) political affairs office on Friday.
However, ABC News has reported that according to Ebba Kalondo, spokesperson for the AU chairperson, the AU is yet to receive details from Nigeria, with the news having been “announced verbally with no formal communication”.
Friday’s reports were welcomed, as visas on arrival would have been a step toward the continent realising its vision of a pan-African passport set to be introduced in 2018. The passport will allow travellers easier cross-border travel across Africa without a visa.
About 75% of the continent’s most visa-open countries are situated in the eastern and western regions of Africa, while southern Africa accounts for only 20%, according to the Africa Visa Openness Index released earlier this year.