By Linus Aleke
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 Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, announced this in a statement in Abuja, to prevent Nigerian travellers from falling victim of the new policy.
The statement signed by the Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Francisca Omayuli, said the new policy is not targeted at Nigerians, as reported in some quarters.
According to the statement, “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 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”.
The statement further added that 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 www.evisa.gov.et.
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 sensitized. The general public is invited to take note of the new visa regime of the Federal Government of Ethiopia and be guided accordingly. In a related development, 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 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 statement concluded.