Connect with us

Foreign News

US Embassy to Nigeria: “We will act if the visa reduction is made official”



The United States Embassy in Nigeria has reacted to the decision of the Nigerian government to reduce visa application fee for Americans saying, it would only act if the reduction was made official.

A statement credited to American embassy has confirmed to TIMELY POST.

Part of the statement reads: “The US Embassy looks forward to receiving official diplomatic communication regarding a new fee schedule for Americans seeking Nigerian visas.

“Until such time, and confirmation of implementation, the reciprocity fees for approved visas to the United States will remain in place.”

But the Federal government acted hours after the US said Nigerians will pay more for their visa application.

Also, US Consulate had explained that the increased cost was “reciprocating” the extra visa fee by the country.

It would be recalled that Minister of Interior, Aregbesola, on Wednesday directed the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, to act immediately.

A statement by the ministry “acknowledged that there were engagements with the United States Embassy on the issue and in the aftermath, a Committee was set up to conduct due diligence in line with the Ministry’s extant policy on reciprocity of Visa fees

“The Committee had concluded its assignment and submitted a Report but the issuance of authorisation for its recommendations was delayed due to transition processes in the Ministry at the policy level.

“The Honourable Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has approved the decrease of Visa charges payable by US citizens in line with reciprocity policy as recommended by the Committee.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Foreign News

Algeria clamps down, detains opposition activist, Boumala



Algerian authorities have arrested Fodil Boumala, a prominent opposition activist and anti-government protester, fellow activists and a lawyer said on Thursday.

Mr Boumala’s arrest on Wednesday night, though not immediately confirmed by the justice ministry, was the latest sign of a new clampdown on dissent following the detention of three other leading opposition activists in recent weeks.

The authorities are trying to quell a mass protest movement that began in February, forced veteran president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to quit in April and is pressing demands for a thorough purge of the old ruling elite.

Interim President, Abdelkader Bensalah, on Sunday called for an election in December.

Protesters have rejected the move, saying any election that goes ahead while the old guard holds power cannot be free or fair.

Earlier on Wednesday, Army Chief, Ahmed Saleh, ordered security forces to stop and confiscate any vehicles being used to bring protesters into the capital Algiers.

His order and the arrests mark an increase of pressure on the protesters along with a heavier police presence at demonstrations.

The authorities had earlier responded to protesters’ demands over corruption by detaining and charging several prominent officials and businessmen with allegations of graft.

The three other activists recently detained were Lakhdar Bouragaa, Karim Tabou and Samir Belarbi, who have been accused of “contributing to weakening the army’s morale’’ according to their lawyers.


Continue Reading

Foreign News

Andela plans to lays off over 250 engineers in Nigeria, other African countries



Tech firm and talent accelerator, Andela, has announced that it will lay off over 250 junior engineers across Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria.

Jeremy Johnson, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Andela, made this known Tuesday in a statement titled “The Future of Andela”.

The layoffs come as the company announced its plan to hire another 700 experienced engineers by the end of 2020 in order to keep up with demand from its partners.

To continue creating junior engineering talent at scale, it also said it will invest in the Andela Learning Community, through which it has already trained more than 30,000 learners in software engineering fundamentals.

But despite the huge plan, the company said it has seen shifts in the market and what its customers are looking for in more experienced engineers.

By implication, Andela is letting go over 250 of its contracted junior developers in Lagos and Uganda while up to 170 trainees in Kenya could also be potentially impacted, the company said.

“As a result of that,” the statement said Tuesday, “we began sourcing and assessing mid-level and senior engineers, and they now represent more than 25% of our talent base.

“While placing teams led by senior engineers has helped drive additional junior placement, it hasn’t been enough. We now have significantly more junior talent than we are able to place.

“Just as important, those junior engineers want, and deserve, authentic work experience that we are not able to provide. As a result, we’ve come to the conclusion that Andela’s next phase of growth requires a strategic shift in how we think about talent.”

Historically, the company said it has viewed its talent supply as being primarily junior with some mid-level and senior engineers. Moving forward, Mr Johnson said, Andela will be shifting its approach to be focused on senior talent, with junior talent layered in on top of it.

He said: “While nuanced, this shift in focus will allow us to better align with what the market needs, and in the process better connect brilliance with opportunity at all levels.

“As part of this shift, we have also had to make an extremely difficult decision as it relates to a number of talented junior engineers. Today, we are announcing that we are closing the D0 program in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda. Moving forward, we will be focusing D0 training efforts on our pan-African hub in Rwanda.

“In addition, we will be letting go of approximately 250 Andelans in Nigeria and Uganda, with an additional 170 potentially impacted in Kenya, who we don’t believe we’ll be able to find meaningful work for over the next year.

“The well-being of our employees, both past and present, is our immediate priority. We are providing holistic support programs for those who are affected by this shift, including ongoing access to learning programs and job placement services. We have committed a range of financial and emotional resources to former employees, and those who are leaving will continue to have access to the strongest engineering network on the African continent. Once an Andelan, always an Andelan.”

Founded in 2014, Andela has offices in New York and five African countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Egypt.

The company selects a roster of developers each year who come on staff for a salary and are encouraged to continue working and living in their home markets in Africa.

Before the layoff, Andela had 1575 engineers on board.

The affected software engineers will gain severance packages and placement assistance and Andela is working with partners such as CCHub in Nigeria to connect the developers to new opportunities.

The emergence of the 400 developers may impact Nigeria’s and indeed Africa’s tech space. There are concerns over the availability of opportunities in local tech start-ups in Nigeria and other African countries.

Iyin Aboyeji, a co-founder who left the company in 2016, described the influx of young talent into the ecosystem across Africa as a welcome development.

“Glad that more junior engineering talent will come to the ecosystem. Local companies better scoop up this junior talent and build pipeline with a focus on engineering mentorship and management,” he tweeted via his handle @iaboyeji on Tuesday.

Continue Reading

Foreign News

36 persons missing as boat capsizes in DRC – Police



At least 36 people are missing after the sinking of a boat on Sunday at Maluku commune, a district on the banks of the Congo River in Kinshasa’s suburbs, according to announces of the Congolese national police on the spot.

According to police authorities, only 76 survivors have so far been counted out of over a hundred passengers who embarked on the boat journey, which came from the province of Mai-Ndombe, a province located southwest of the city of Kinshasa.

The boat filled with goods and passengers capsized at Mambutuka locality in Maluku commune.

For the moment, research is underway to try to find other survivors in the accident area.

No bodies have yet been retrieved by the local river services in the area where the authorities say they have deployed the Congolese army’s naval forces, to intensify research on the extent of the accident, which is not away from the main port of the village of Maluku located about 50 kilometres from the city of Kinshasa.

Shipwrecks are frequent between the city of Kinshasa and the province of Mai-Ndombe, where dozens of boats leave with passengers to go to refuel agricultural goods and others.

The overload and poor conditions of the ships are generally at the root of most shipwrecks on the river and across the country, where most of these ships cannot withstand storms during navigation.


Continue Reading

Like Us OnFacebook