The South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Louis Mngani, says visa office established in Port Harcourt is to boost operations between Nigeria and South Africa.
In a statement signed by Mr Opubo Inko-Tariah, the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity of the High Commission, Mngani made the remark at the inauguration of the South African e-visa office in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
According to him, since 1994 when the first elected South African president came to power, the tie between the two countries gets stronger by the day.
Mngani expressed the hope that the presence of the centre would be beneficial to residents and boost trade between the two countries.
He said that the choice of Port Harcourt was due to its status as an economic hub in the country.
The South African Consular General, Mugesi Monaisa, said that the visa centre was among the three established in the country to palliate the suffering prospective visitors and tourists experienced in obtaining visas to South Africa.
Monaisa said that the centre would provide an advice for those ready to do business in South Africa.
In his speech, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers stated that the state “is investors haven as it is the most hospitable and lucrative place for investment.”
He urged the international community to dismiss the negative stories about the state as the issue of security remained a global affair.
Wike promised to improve on the security situation in the state but said that the state was one of the safest in the country.
“We will do everything we can to return Port Harcourt to its past glory and we will want everybody to support the government,” he said.
Wike commended the South African High Commission for selecting Port Harcourt as one of its visa centres in the country.
He said that the centre would boost diplomatic relations and provide employment for the citizenry.
Wike pledged the government’s support to complement the efforts of the High Commission in the state and enjoined other diplomatic missions to imitate the South African government.
The governor, however, called on the South African embassy to go beyond setting up a visa office by commencing direct flight operations between Port Harcourt and Johannesburg.