12 November 2008

Nigeria: Govt, South Africa Agree On Visa-Free Regime

Lagos — Nigeria's High Commissioner to South Africa, Buba Marwa, said yesterday in Pretoria, that Nigerians and South Africans are soon to enjoy visa-free regime.

He told the Southern Africa correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) officials of both countries were now studying the proposal.

He said the visa-free regime was one of the issues discussed at the meeting of the implementation committee of the Nigeria-South Africa Bi-national Commission, which ended in Pretoria on November 6.

"At the meeting, we reviewed our relationships and tried to move the visa regime to another level, whereby holders of red and blue passports of the two countries can do away with visa."

This is the first step towards what will be the ultimate regime of completely doing away with visa between our two great countries in due course," Marwa said, adding that he was disappointed at "the uncivil and unruly" behaviour of a South African immigration official who verbally assaulted and humiliated some Nigerian officials on Saturday.

He said the Mission had already sent a strongly worded letter of protest to the South Africa's Department of Foreign Affairs and wondered how a senior immigration officer should be lacking in such a simple elementary civil behaviour at this point of strategic levels of relations between Nigeria and South Africa.

A South African immigration official was reported to have verbally assaulted a former Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, as well as two Senators at the OR Tambo International Airport.

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