The amount of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) coming to Nigeria may have reduced drastically in recent weeks as the issuance of Visas on Arrival (VoAs) has declined by over 60 per cent in the last one month, Daily Trust investigations have revealed.
Our correspondent’s findings show that VoAs’ reduction was largely due to the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world which has caused substantial drop in air passenger traffic globally.
Sources at the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos Command, confirmed that COVID-19 had taken a huge toll on the number of VoAs issued on a monthly basis.
Our correspondent reports that most of the visitors using the visa on arrival window are businessmen and investors coming for a short business trips to Nigeria.
“What this means is that businesses are slowing down significantly and the amount of FDIs coming to Nigeria is reducing because, like you know, more than 80 per cent of foreigners coming to the country securing visas on arrival are business people,” an immigration source said.
Investigation revealed that a total of 265 VoAs were issued in February as against 440 in January by the MMIA command of NIS.
“It is a big minus for the ease of doing business programme of the Federal Government,” the source said.
Daily Trust reports that COVID-19 has caused significant drop in air transportation with airlines either suspending or cancelling flights.
Meanwhile, Egypt Air has suspended flights following the suspension of air traffic in all Egyptian airports from tomorrow, Thursday March 19, to March 31.
This is in light of the Egyptian government’s “keenness to maintain the safety and health of Egyptian citizens and limit the spread of COVID-19”, Egypt Air said in a message to its trade partners in Nigeria.
“The safety and security of passengers and employees is always the top priority of Egypt Air Airlines,” the airline added.
Cabo Verde Airlines, which started operating to Nigeria with the launch of Lagos-Sal flight in December last year, has suspended its flights following the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.
The suspension takes effect from March 16 until May 31.
The airline said it suspended operations “due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation” which has made many countries to impose a temporary ban on inbound travel from countries with large numbers of infection.