The Namibian High Commission in Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos unveiled a unique partnership with Air Namibia, the country’s national airline, aimed at selling the opportunities for business and tourism that abound in the Southern African country for the benefit of Nigerians.
To encourage the Nigerian investors, entrepreneurs and tourists to the country, the High Commission inaugurated a visa desk at the Airline office in Ikeja to ease the process of obtaining various types of visa available for interested Nigerians.
The Namibia High commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency Humphaey Geiseb referred to Nigeria as a big friend from history of his nation when it was a German colony, and said they are not in Nigeria by accident but because Nigeria was there yesterday, today and hopefully tomorrow for his country.
The high commissioner further said that they are committed to the free movement of persons adding that the country recorded over 1.6million tourist arrivals yearly and issued over 700 visas to travelers from Nigeria in 2018.
Honorable Geiseb emphasized more that Namibia is a high exporter of salt, canned beef which he said is available in Shoprite here in Lagos and across Nigeria, and fish exportation too. He also mentioned that there exist various pending beneficial and mutual projects to be sealed between Lagos and Nigeria.
The commissioner went further to analyse various opportunities available for Nigerian business in Namibia such as the film industry which he mentioned has a funding opportunity for any movie industry in Namibia, he therefore urge movie directors and producers in Nigeria to look towards Namibia for their future shoots and assures them that they will not regret their attempt as a percentage of Namibians visit Nigeria for religious tourism showing that there is already an exchange.
In conclusion the Namibian High commissioner confirmed that Namibia is committed to the African union and that Africa can only overcome poverty, ignorance, and other epidemics ravaging the continent of its potential by coming together.
After his speech he together with the Namibian Delegates, The honorable commissioner for tourism art and culture honorable Steve Ayorinde, and other stakeholders Launched the New Namibia Visa Desk at the air Namibia Office.
The Nigeria’s honorary consul to Namibia, Mr. Justin Chukwuma Anosike, while commending the leadership of the High commission of Namibia for doing a good job since from inception referred to Namibia as Africa’s best kept secret, encouraging Nigerians to explore the destination as there are business opportunities in the region in the areas of real estate, tourism, fish exportation, beef processing and canning, tourism and lots more.
He said that although Namibia is in southern Africa but the destination is free from any xenophobic attack or political crisis as Namibians are very friendly and hospitable people and the country is open for business.
While welcoming guests, the General Manager of Air Namibia, Mr wimpie Van Vuuren said that: “Namibia is a nation with a population of 2.6 million people, a vast landmass of 825,615 km with lots of opportunities to tap into for business, leisure and tourism.
He explained further that the country is accessible for any of the mentioned opportunities which forms the goals of his company; Air Namibia which are; Interconnectivity within Africa, To promote tourism, and to promote business opportunities and transactions within Africa to Namibia.
He went further to narrate the strategy the airline company has adopted to achieve the goals in Nigeria as they operate 265 flights per week and three take offs from Nigeria weekly with a partnership policy to employ only Nigerian labour force to execute its operations and ever since their experience with their present Nigerian team, they are confident of delivering on their year goal for the company.
Mr Vuuren reiterated that Air Namibia is soaring across the Africa and to better it, and not another vulture in Nigeria on rampage scavenging, but is here to establish a joint venture between its nation and Nigeria and desire to have a lasting relationship with the government, entrepreneurs and the people of Nigeria.
In conclusion he mentioned again that the economy is not conducive in the region but ready for growth and Air Namibia is ready to work with Nigeria and its businesses.
The public relations officer to Namibia home affairs and immigration in Nigeria, Madam Salome Kambala said that there is no visa on arrival in Namibia which informed the need to simplify the visa processing in Nigeria in order to encourage potential travelers and would be investors.
She explained that the home affairs office is the custodian of various visa types, application, process, and requirements. She went further to analyse the various visa types from the tourist visa which take between 3 to 5 working days to be approved, employment visa, student visa, transit visa, permanent residence visa, domicile certificate, citizenship visa and lots more the approval of which will be determined by a home affairs committee before issuance unlike the transit visa which would not need such process.
According to her; “there is presently no visa on arrival in Namibia and anyone who intends to visit the destination needs to apply for a visa before travelling, as the home office, immigration, and tourism board is ready to welcome Nigerians ready to do business and tourism in Namibia”.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Art and Culture in Lagos State, Steve Ayorinde commended Air Namibia for championing the course of inter-connectivity in Africa, promoting tourism, and business opportunities in Namibia and sees Lagos and Nigeria as a potential beneficiary and a huge partner to their business initiative.
He used the opportunity to highlight the Lagos initiative of promoting tourism in terms of entertainments, arts, agro tourism, and lots more as a must experience to the rest of Africa, following the interconnectivity goal of Air Namibia while emphasizing the need for a city state like Lagos to embrace and work on the issue of visa on arrival as it is the way to go in the present day tourism.
Ayorinde said: “there is a need for the African nation to be able to move freely from one point to another within the region with just a passport while welcoming and once again welcomed the Namibian delegates and its National Carrier stating that Lagos and the rest of Nigeria is a fertile destination for their business and assures them a profitable experience.
He also addressed the tour operators present at the event urging them to make the transactions a two-way benefit for their Nation in their tour operations and packaging stating that as they sell Namibia to Lagosian, they should in return sell Lagos and other parts of Nigeria to Namibians; there he referred to Lagos according to Vogue Magazine as the coolest city on earth and Namibians should experience it.