Written by Godfrey AKON

Nigeria urges Netherlands to resume visa issuance in Abuja

Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Oji Ngofa, has expressed optimism that the Dutch Embassy in Nigeria will resume the issuance of Schengen Visas in Abuja in the shortest possible future.

Mr Ngofa spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, ahead of the visit of Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands to Nigeria this week.

In 2013, the Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria swapped their visa application processes in Nigeria with the French Consulate-General in Lagos and the Embassy of Belgium in Abuja.

Mr Ngofa explained that following dialogues between the Nigerian Foreign Ministry and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands Consulate office reopened its services in Nigeria in 2018 after closing it in 2013.

He said the Netherlands trade office in Lagos has also been upgraded to a Consulate, adding that this should be a stepping stone to the issuance of visas by the Netherlands Embassy to visa applicants in Nigeria.

He stressed that the issuance of Schengen Visas to Nigerians by the Netherlands is only reciprocal as they have the ease of getting Nigerian visas directly from the Nigerian Embassy in the Hague.

“We have had consular dialogues with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we are trying to ensure that all the obstacles towards achieving the direct issuance of visas are removed.

“Because at the moment, they have outsourced the issuance of visas to the French Consulate in Lagos and the Belgium Embassy here in Abuja.

“And we think that is not reciprocal because at the moment, we are offering our services to them in the Hague and we think that they should resume,” Ngofa said.

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