The Namibian High Commissioner to Nigeria, H.E Humphrey Geiseb has said that Nigerians — and Africans — are welcome to visit, study and do business in Namibia. He made this known in Mid-April at the official opening of Namibia’s Visa Processing Desk in Lagos.
“We do not have limits to foreigners’ participation in Namibia,” he said, while taking questions from journalists. “You are welcome to establish enterprises; just come and link up with our business people so they can guide you. But if you cannot find local partners, you can still speak to our Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development.
““The University of Namibia and many other universities in the country are open and welcome African students. Definitely, Nigerian students are welcome. They can come and study in Namibia. We also believe we will be working with Nigerian stakeholders to bring more Namibians to come and study here.”
Namibia, located in Southern Africa, has a population of 2.4 million with a land mass of 825, 615 sq km.
Geiseb said he is aware that on the average 700 visas are issued annually to Nigerians.
“But overall the tourism arrival figures for 2018 was 1.6mn and we think we have a sizeable number of that being Nigerians, because Air Namibia flies from Nigeria a few times a week. But we want to increase the schedule to daily flights,” he added.
According to Air Namibia’s Acting General Manager (Commercial Services), Wimpie Van Vuuren, “Air Namibia is here to establish and foster a good relationship between Namibia and the outside world,” noting that the airline is a proud owner of 10 aircrafts. “And we fly daily across various destinations, 265 flights a week. We offer one of the best services in our business class so there are so many reasons to fly with us.”
Air Namibia has been in business for 70 years. It is one of the few airlines in Africa that can boast of longevity and quality service delivery in the aviation and tourism sectors respectively.
The Hon. Consul to Namibia, Chukwuma Anosike, described Namibia as the best kept secret in Africa. “It its a place that people should visit, because you are at peace when you go there. Also we encourage people to look out for business opportunities in Namibia because it is a place that’s very welcoming.”
Geiseb also pointed out that more than anything else, Namibia has a long history of association with Nigeria. “Nigeria was there for us yesterday, today and hopefully will be there for us tomorrow.”
He was quick to add though that Namibia plans to increase its participation in more promotional events so that it gets more opportunities to interface with stakeholders, potential tourists and entrepreneurs.
“It seems we are not well known and it is as if we are a secret. But we are not a secret — we are a wonderful country with wonderful heritage and treasures that Nigerians can go and see,” Geiseb said. “We also are busy with reviving our investment notes, while also trying to make the country business friendly, so people can come in and establish businesses quickly. Many of the opportunities are available as Joint Ventures with Namibians.”
Also present at the event was Steve Ayorinde, Lagos state Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, who argued that “as much as we try to market Namibia to Nigeria, let us also market Nigeria to Namibia and make it a two-way street.”
Namibia prides itself in the fact that it produces one of the best processed beef on the continent and with sources that can be easily tracked. This is not to mention that it does not have a nationals who attack immigrants.
Senior PRO Home Affairs & Immigration, Ms. Salome Kambala would like potential visitors to know that Namibia is extending her hand of warmth and friendship to every Nigerian, but made it clear that it was important that such persons must ensure they fulfilled all travel requirements and respect the country’s laws to help foster peace and unity between both countries.
Air Namibia’s Marketing Manager in Nigeria, Gbenga Onitilo, urged all and sundry to take advantage of the quality and affordability Air Namibia offers to her clientele.
Additional reporting by Ruth Omorodion, Wandoo Abah and Jane Onuoha