The federal government has introduced a multiple-entry, multi-year visa for Nigerians by birth who had to renounce their citizenship. According to a tweet by Tolu Ogunlesi, special assistant on digital/new media to President Buhari, the visa is available to people who renounced their Nigerian status to become citizens of other countries. Journalists, entertainers and sportsmen wishing to visit Nigeria will now also get single-entry, short-visit visas. This is part of provisions stated in the new visa policy unveiled by the President on Tuesday. “If you’re a Nigerian by birth but have had to give up your citizenship because your new country doesn’t allow dual citizenship (China, Isreal, India etc), you are now eligible to get a multi-year, multiple entry visa that allows you to visit Nigeria easily,” Ogunlesi tweeted. According to the President, the new policy is a pathway to achieving the security, economy and transparency agenda of his administration. A key provision of the policy is the opportunity it gives to Africans visiting Nigeria to obtain their visas on arrival at the country’s four international airports – Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday rejected a call for the evacuation of Nigerians from China as the coronavirus outbreak spreads from the country to other parts of the world. The Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu had moved a motion praying that Nigerians stranded in China over the health crisis be brought back to the country. The motion was rejected by the house which said it was untrue that Nigerians are stranded in the world’s second-largest economy. On the introduction of the motion, Kalu was shouted down by other lawmakers who were unwilling to give him the chance to read it. The lawmakers then proceeded to vote against the motion’s consideration, despite the efforts of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, to make the lawmakers listen to the content of the motion.
The Lagos-based motorcycle-hailing startup, Gokada, has laid off most of its workforce, according to a report by tech blog, Techpoint. Launched in January 2018, the startup was founded by Fahim Saleh to address the persistent traffic problems in Nigeria’s largest city. The startup went on to raise a total of $5.6 million from two rounds and claims to have completed more than a million rides. The ride was not always rosy. A year and a few months after launch, it was reported that Deji Oduntan stepped down from his CEO role as co-founder Fahim Saleh took over. At the time, there were allegations of mismanagement and misconduct at the startup which Saleh denied. An expensive overhaul in 2019 that saw a suspension of all operations for two weeks reportedly caused the company to bleed a lot of cash. The blog quotes an anonymous source as saying that Gokada laid off most of its staff two days after the announcement of a ban by the Lagos state government of all forms of motorcycles and tricycles in major parts of Lagos. Motorcycle-hailing startups, including Gokada and its fierce competitor, Max Okada were not exempt.
Business confidence in Nigeria’s economy dropped to 28.3 index points in January 2020, representing a decline of 2.0 index points when compared to 30.3 index points in December 2019. The CBN, in its Business Expectation Survey Report, said the business outlook for January, however, showed greater confidence in the economy with 61.4 index points. The regulator said that the business outlook for February 2020 showed greater confidence in the economy, with 61.4 index points. The optimism on the macro-economy in the current month, according to the CBN, was driven by the opinion of respondents from services.