The Belgian Ambassador to Nigeria, Daniel Dargent, has advised Nigerians seeking to travel to Belgium to always ensure that they supply necessary documents required for visa applications if they hope to receive a successful approval.
Dargent stated this during a courtesy visit by the leadership of the Nigerian-Belgian Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) to The Guardian at its corporate office, Rutam House, in Isolo, Lagos, yesterday.
They were received by the Executive Director, Mr. Toke Alex-Ibru; Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Debo Adesina; Editor, The Guardian on Sunday, Mr. Alabi Williams; Editor, The Guardian on Saturday), Nike Sotade and Head, Human Resources, Mr. Dada Ashafa.
The envoy, who assumed duty in Nigeria in September 2018, said he was disposed to issuing visa to Nigerians that meet the criteria during his tenure.
"There is a rule that guides the issuance of visa. The norm is to grant visa but there are exceptions, leading to the refusal of applications. It is just that the exception seems to be far higher than the norm. But the criteria are that you have to prove that you are going there for a reason and that you have the necessary means to sustain your living.
"If you have a good file, you have more chances to receive a visa. You need to really give us documents like bank statement and business invitation from a reliable company. If a family relative is inviting you, then they should sign a special form at their municipality. So, the people who complain should prepare to supply maximum of evidences and then of course, they have the chance to receive their visa," he said.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of NBCC, Paulette Van Trier, said they were at The Guardian to solicit the support of the newspaper in creating awareness about the chamber's activities, noting that the association has a number of activities coming up in July and November, which would boost the growth of the Nigerian economy, especially start-ups when successfully concluded.
"We have a big exhibition in July. We will have the biggest trade mission by the end of November from the Port of Antwerp coming to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). They are already managing the port in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, and they are also coming in as investors in Nigeria.
She revealed that three Belgium companies were coming to invest in Nigeria, adding that one of them would build a cocoa butter factory in Akure, Ondo State.
Also, President of the NBCC, Dr. Timi Austen-Peters, who spoke in the same vein, said the country would benefit a lot from Belgium in terms of bilateral relationship.
He stated that the programmes of the association are geared towards contributing to policy initiatives that would aid the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.