The Federal Government has retained a controversial requirement for foreign journalists applying for Nigerian visa.
The provision, which was introduced by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, was retained in the new Nigerian Visa Policy 2020 launched by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The policy states that foreign journalists applying for the journalist visa must, among other requirements, get a letter of clearance from the Federal Ministry of Information.
The Nigerian High Commission in the United Kingdom states on its website that when a person applies for journalist’s visa, the application has to get “clearance from the Federal Ministry of Information and Communications and it can take anything from one week up to one month.”
After the journalist visa has been issued, the person is expected to head to the Federal Ministry of the Information, Abuja to get a clearance.
Reacting to the development, the Executive Director, International Press Centre, Lanre Arogundade, condemned the Federal Government’s tough visa conditions for foreign journalists, adding that democratic nations ought to promote a free press.