The US has announced it is expanding its curbs on immigration to include six more countries, including Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation.
Citizens from Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar will now be blocked from obtaining certain types of visas.
In 2018, the US issued twice as many immigration visas to Nigeria than to the other five nations combined.
An official said the new measures were the result of failures by the six countries to meet US security and information-sharing standards.
So many misinterpretations have been given to this development, with many concluding that Nigerians will no longer be allowed entry into the US.
However, here are what the new ban means:
- Nigerians will not get visas that can lead to permanent residency.
- This suspension shall come into effect on 21st February 2020.
The suspension is temporal and would be lifted if the government meet the minimum US security and information-sharing standards.
Nigerians will still be able to get non-immigrant visas given to people for temporary stays – including visitors, those doing business or people seeking medical treatment – would not be impacted by the new rules.
Nigerian government’s reaction
The presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, in a statement Saturday, said President Muhammadu Buhari had established a committee, to be Chaired by the Hon. Minister of Interior, to study and address the updated U.S. requirements.
Adesina said the committee will work with the U.S Government, INTERPOL and other stakeholders to ensure all updates are properly implemented.
He expressed the commitment of the Federal Government to maintaining productive relations with the United States and its international allies especially on matters of global security.
“Nigeria remains committed to maintaining productive relations with the United States and its international allies especially on matters of global security. Accordingly, President Muhammadu Buhari has established a committee, to be Chaired by the Hon. Minister of Interior, to study and address the updated U.S. requirements. The committee will work with the U.S Government, INTERPOL and other stakeholders to ensure all updates are properly implemented.”
A former Vice President of Nigeria, Abubakar Atiku had earlier on Saturday called on the government of the United States of America to lift its travel ban on Nigerians.
In a statement he personally signed on Saturday, Atiku asked President Trump to consider adopting measures that individually target those in government who have failed in their duties, rather than target the entire Nigerian population.
“The current Nigerian administration may have its deficiencies and deep faults, but the Nigeria people ought not to be punished for their inefficiencies,” he contended.