Buhari takes decision on US visa ban

By Shola Abayomi.

President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the immigration visa ban imposed on Nigeria by the US government.

According to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the president on Saturday set up a committee to look into the matter with a view to meeting the requirements of the new US’ policy on visa issuance.

The statement noted that the committee would be headed by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, while explaining that the ban does not apply to other categories of US visas such as those for official, business, tourism and student travel.

It stated that, “The committee will work with the US Government, INTERPOL and other stakeholders to ensure all updates are properly implemented.

“For Nigeria, the restriction is the suspension of the issuance of ‘immigrant visas’ to Nigerian passport holders only.

“This suspension shall come into effect on February 21, 2020. The suspension does not apply to other U.S visas such as those for official, business, tourism and student travel.”

Highlighting the reason why Nigeria was included in the visa ban alongside five other countries, the statement added, “The DHS states the suspension of ‘immigrant visas’ became necessary following a review and update of the methodology (performance metrics) adopted by the US Government to assess compliance of certain security criteria by foreign governments.

“This resulted in certain enhancements on how information is shared between Nigeria and the US.”

It further reiterated that 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 Honourable Minister of Interior, to study and address the updated U.S. requirements”, the statement concluded.

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