The Chief Operating Officer of VFS Global in Africa, Jitten Vyas, on Thursday announced that about 200,000 Nigerians applied annually for visas to various countries through his organisation.
Mr. Vyas made the announcement at the official inauguration ceremony of the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos.
According to him, many Nigerians always apply for visas to travel to different countries of the world for leisure, studies and business trips.
"Let us say that we have about 200,000 Nigerians applying for visas through the VFS offices in Abuja and Lagos annually.
"There is a growing interest of young Nigerians wanting to study, work, live, go for leisure and do business overseas today.
"This trend has continued to increase the number of Nigerians applying for Visas to China, Europe and other countries of the world through VFS Global," he said.
Mr. Vyas said that the establishment of the Chinese Visa Application Service Centres in Lagos and Abuja was to further enhance the diplomatic ties, tourism, trade and commerce between Nigeria and China.
He said that it was imperative for Nigerians to know that with the new centres, they would henceforth be applying through VFS Global for Chinese Visas.
The Chief Operating Officer said that with the Chinese government's outsourcing of its visas collection and documentation, Nigerians should expect a prompt and efficient visa application service.
"With the establishment of these centres, Nigerians do not have to suffer under the sun or rain, or queue unnecessarily.
"They now have a very organised and conducive environment for the application and documentation of their visas application information.
"Let me also say here that VFS Global does not play any role in visas issuance, refusal and administration," he said.
The Consul-General of China in Lagos, Chao Xiaoliang, said that with the establishment of the centre in Lagos, ordinary applicants would henceforth be directed to the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre in Victoria Island.
Mr. Chao, however, said that only Diplomats and official passport holders applying for visas to Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative region should apply directly to the Chinese Embassy.
"The Chinese Visa Application Service Centre is today officially opened to Nigerians.
"From now on, all ordinary passport holders wishing to visit China are requested to visit this Centre.
"But, Diplomats and official passport holders applying for Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Region Visas are to submit their applications directly to the Chinese Embassy," he said.
The Consul-General added that the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre, had been facilitating Chinese Visa application processes in different parts of the world.