The UK has launched the Super Priority Visa Service in Nigeria to allow prospective visitors to Britain to process their applications within 24 hours.
The British High Commission, on its website, said the new service was targeted at meeting the needs of those who require urgent service to travel.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the High Commission quoted the British High Commissioner, Mr. Paul Arkwright, as welcoming the introduction of the Super Priority Visa service in Nigeria.
“I am pleased to see the Super Priority Visa service being launched in Nigeria.
“This comes with an additional cost but is designed to give greater flexibility to our customers and underlines our strong commitment to make improvements to the visa services we offer.
“We expect this new service to be particularly useful for business. We understand that business opportunities and urgent requirements can arise at very short notice.
“We recognise this and want to facilitate such travel to the UK with this new super-fast service,” Arkwright said.
The High Commission said the introduction of the service allowed customers greater flexibility to choose from a number of visa products to meet their needs.
“It is offered alongside our current Priority Visa (front of queue processing five to seven-day) and standard (15-day) services.
“The UK is the only European country to offer a visa decision in 24 hours.
“The Super Priority Visa service is aimed largely at key business customers and those needing to travel urgently by providing a visa decision for collection at the Visa Application Centre the working day following submission.”
It said the service costs 750 pounds sterling in addition to the visa fee and would be available to eligible customers applying in the Abuja and Lagos Visa Application Centres.
The High Commission said those applying in the “Visitors” or “Points Based System Tier 4” are eligible to use the Super Priority Service.
It said appointments are available from Mondays to Thursday from 8.30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and Fridays from 8.30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Abuja and Lagos centres only.
“Extending the Super Priority Visa service to Nigeria is another example of how the UK is leading the world in the provision of premium visa services for those coming to the UK to visit, do business or study.”
China and EU Seek Partnership: Xi Jinping Proposes Key Trade Alliance
Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his desire for China and the European Union (EU) to become key trade partners and foster trust in supply chains, during a meeting with EU leaders in Beijing.
The talks marked the first in-person summit between the two sides in four years and addressed a range of economic concerns, including data flows and market access.
Xi emphasized China’s commitment to high-quality development and opening up, positioning the EU as a crucial partner in economic and trade cooperation.
He envisioned the EU as a trusted collaborator in industrial and supply chain cooperation, aiming for mutual benefits and win-win results.
The summit delved into longstanding issues, such as efforts by Europe to “de-risk” its supply chains and the EU’s anti-subsidies investigation into Chinese-made electric vehicles.
China criticized the investigation, urging the EU to avoid using it for “trade protectionism.”
Xi called for the elimination of interference between China and the EU, a statement likely directed at the United States, which has taken actions, including enlisting the Netherlands, to curb China’s development of high-end semiconductors.
The EU leaders, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, described their conversation with Xi as “good and candid.”
They discussed the main challenges amid increasing geopolitical frictions, emphasizing a commitment to balanced trade relations and pledging to enhance people-to-people exchanges.
During the meeting, Italy formally informed China of its exit from the Belt and Road Initiative, highlighting ongoing strains between the EU and China.
Xi discussed Belt and Road with EU leaders, expressing a willingness to connect it with the EU’s Global Gateway infrastructure plan.
However, deep issues remain, including Russia’s war in Ukraine, trade imbalances, and Chinese overcapacity exported to Europe.
Jens Eskelund, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, stressed the need to address these issues to foster a positive relationship between Beijing and Brussels.
UAE Commits $30 Billion as COP28 Climate Talks Kick Off in Dubai
Nigeria Eyes BRICS Membership within Two Years as Foreign Minister Emphasizes Strategic Alignment
In a strategic move towards global economic collaboration, Nigeria is aspiring to join the BRICS group of nations within the next two years.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, affirmed that Nigeria is open to aligning itself with groups that demonstrate good intentions, well-meaning goals, and clearly defined objectives.
Tuggar stated, “Nigeria has come of age to decide for itself who her partners should be and where they should be; being multiple aligned is in our best interest.”
He emphasized the need for Nigeria to be part of influential groups like BRICS and the G-20, citing criteria such as population and economy size that position Nigeria as a natural candidate.
BRICS, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, stands as a formidable bloc of emerging market powers.
In a recent move to expand its influence, BRICS invited six additional nations, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Argentina, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates, to join the group.
Nigeria, as Africa’s largest economy, has been absent from the BRICS alliance, prompting discussions on the potential economic and political advantages the bloc could offer the country.
Analysts have noted that BRICS membership could provide Nigeria with significant leverage on the global stage.
Vice President Kashim Shettima clarified that Nigeria did not apply for BRICS membership after the bloc’s announcement of new members in August.
Shettima emphasized the principled approach of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, highlighting a commitment to consensus building in decisions related to international partnerships.
As Nigeria eyes BRICS membership, the move is seen as a strategic step towards enhancing its global economic and diplomatic influence.
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