President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday directed the immigration department to issue genuine Nigerian businessmen with Kenyan visas covering between 5 to 10 years.
He said proper measure are required to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade. Uhuru said these include visa restriction and poor infrastructure. He said the immigration department should conclude the Draft Agreement. Uhuru was addressing businessmen from Kenya and Nigeria at a Nairobi Hotel. The function was hosted by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Uhuru said the government will break commercial barriers that have hindered the development of investment and trade among African Nations. "There is absolutely no reason why so much of Africa should stagnate in poverty amid so much opportunity," Uhuru said. Eearlier at State house, visiting Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan witnessed the signing of seven agreements that will boost bilateral and trade ties between Kenya and his country.
The documents signed were Memorandum of Understandings on trade and investment; oil and gas; tourism; visa exemption for diplomatic passport holders; conclusion of agreements on double taxation; agriculture, livestock and fisheries; and twinning of cities. "We look forward to strengthening intra-Africa trade which currently stands at below 12 per cent," Uhuru said.
Uhuru and Jonathan agreed to increase trade between their two countries, promote intra-Africa trade and expand opportunities for investment. Jonathan said cooperation between Kenya and Nigeria is critical in promoting trade. "We believe that with Nigeria and Kenya working together we will not only help the two countries but also create a platform to leverage Africa on trade and investment," he said.
Jonathan said Kenya and Nigeria should go beyond primary production and add value to their produce.
He said the two countries should cooperate to remove infrastructural hurdles that hinder free movement of goods and services within African countries.
Nigerian billionaire businessman Aliko Dangote said he will invest more than Sh34 billion in a cement factory in Kitui county.