Energy

Miners urge caution over govt’s new visa policy

The President, Miners Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Sani Shehu, has urged for caution in the light of recent Federal Government order that foreign investors should be given visas within two days.

He maintained that the pronouncement could make many foreigners come into the country in the disguise of investors, especially as miners.

Shehu, who gave the advice in an interview with journalists in Abuja, said some foreign miners did not have the intention of mining but to promote illegality.

He advised the Federal Government to put adequate measures on ground to identify genuine foreign mining investors before issuing them visas.

“The Acting President, Prof. Osinbajo’s initiative that visa should be issued to foreign investors within two days was a good development and it is a practical demonstration to attract foreign investors.

“But adequate measures must be put in place before issuing visas to foreigners to invest in Nigeria.

“There are some foreign mining investors that are using illegal miners to get minerals without paying taxes, mining fees, royalties and they escape to their countries with raw minerals,” Shehu added.

According to him, that is the reason illegal miners are on the increase across the country; the foreigners motivate and buy the minerals from them at cheaper rates.

Nigeria will now process all tourist and business visas within two days, the vice president’s office said last week.

Considered to be Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria is presently mired in recession, even as government enacts new policies to improve the ease of doing business in the country.

Part of the executive order recently signed by the Vice President would ensure that foreign investor and other applicants would be notified whether their visas would be issued or rejected within 48 hours.

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