Ethiopia's Federal Government has suspended the issuance of visas on arrival to Nigerians and nationals of other countries.
Francisca Omayuli, the spokesperson Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement issued in Abuja, Nigeria, said the development, which applies at all points of entry into the country, was due to the current political situation and security concerns in the country.
The suspension applies to all countries' nationals bearing Standard Passports that seek entry into Ethiopia and is not targeted at Nigerians, specifically as reported in some quarters.
The Ethiopian authorities explained that the measure is aimed at better border control of the movement of persons into Ethiopia because of the ongoing armed conflict in the Northern part of Ethiopia. The action is said to be temporary, pending improvement in the country's security situation. It is not a replacement for the open visa policy of Ethiopia.
Therefore, by this notification, Nigerians bearing Standard Passports intending to travel to Ethiopia are advised to get appropriate entry visas at the Ethiopian Embassy or an electronic visa (e-visa) through Ethiopia's Immigration and Citizenship Service (ICS) portal.
Those also transiting through Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to other destinations or intend to stop over briefly would require a valid entry visa to access hotel facilities in the city or would be obligated to stay in the airport awaiting their connecting flight.
The new visa restriction measure came into effect on September 29, 2022.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs will liaise with relevant airlines and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to ensure that intending Nigerian travelers en route to Ethiopia are well-sensitized.
The public is invited to take note of the new visa regime of the Federal Government of Ethiopia and be guided accordingly.
However, the Nigerian Government said it had noted the concern expressed by the Ethiopian authorities over the country's visa policy abuse by some Nigerians who enter the country on tourist visas and remain in the country even after the expiration of their visas, engaging in harmful activities.
The Government said these activities of the few elements tarnish the country's image and limit opportunities for Nigerians with good intentions outside the country.
Such persons are advised to turn a new leaf and take advantage of the opportunity provided by the Ethiopian National Security Agencies and participate in the ongoing registration of undocumented migrants to avoid unpleasant situations.