Nigeria has concluded plans to sign visa-free pacts with a bloc of eight African countries to promote economic partnership on the continent.
Although he did not disclose the names of the countries making up the bloc, he noted with that trading among African countries had been very low said that with this new idea by the President, it is expected that there will be upsurge in economic activities.
And to achieve this upsurge, he said the present government is trying to come up with an initiative, like the visa-free arrangements in Western Europe where one could enter any sister country without a visa.
“Africa is the centerpiece of our foreign policy but it is a paradox that as a Nigerian, you cannot go to an African country without a visa unlike what is obtainable in Western Europe.
“To address this as a leader in the continent, the country is at a point of introducing an initiative to promote African trade as part of the country’s foreign policy of Africa as the centerpiece
“We want to start with about eight countries or see if they come up as a group of eight countries. At the presidential level, they agreed to that, and signed up to free movement.”
“If we can achieve that within a year, then other countries may want to join and we believe this is a better way to go than institutional ECOWAS etc, as countries take so long to ratify agreements. It is one of the cardinal strategies for the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to facilitate investors doing business in Nigeria.”