THE NIGERIAN government said the United States visa restrictions on Nigeria only apply to ‘immigrant visas’ and does not affect official, business, tourism and student visas.
According to a statement signed by Femi Adesina, a special media aide to the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, he wrote on Saturday that the suspension would take effect on February 21st, 2020.
“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 21st February 2020. The suspension does not apply to other U.S visas such as those for official, business, tourism and student travel,” he wrote.
Adesina explained that the travel ban became necessary following the failure of Nigeria to meet up with the performance ratio adopted by the US on security.
“The DHS states the suspension of “immigrant visas” became necessary following a review and update of the methodology (performance metrics) adopted by the U.S 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 U.S” he explained.
The statement further read that Nigeria is committed to maintaining a good relationship between the US and other international allies.
“Nigeria remains committed to maintaining productive relations with the United States and its international allies especially on matters of global security”.
As a result of the ban, Adesina noted that Buhari has set up a committee chaired by the minister of interior, Rauf Aregbesola to look into the metrics as stipulated by the US.
Statement from the White House reads:
“As set forth in Presidential Proclamation 9645, countries that fail to conduct proper identity management protocols and procedures, or that fail to provide information necessary to comply with basic national security requirements—including sharing terrorist, criminal, or other identity information—face the risk of restrictions and limitations on the entry of their nationals into the United States.”