Nigeria: U.S. Travel Ban - Presidency Reacts, Sets Up Committee

(file photo).
1 February 2020

President Muhammadu Buhari has established a committee to study and address the updated requirements by the U.S. government, after Nigeria was added to countries with temporary restrictions into its country.

The committee will work with the U.S government, INTERPOL, and other stakeholders to ensure all updates are properly implemented.

On January 31, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a temporary travel restriction on six countries, including Nigeria. The proclamation, signed by President Donald Trump on Friday, is expected to take effect on February 22.

In a statement signed by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on media and publicity on February 1, the president "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."

"On 31st January 2020, the United States (U.S) Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced temporary travel restrictions on six (6) countries including Nigeria.

"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.

"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.

"Nigeria remains committed to maintaining productive relations with the United States and its international allies especially on matters of global security."

Earlier, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) on Saturday said that it was shocked to receive the news of visa restriction placed on Nigerians by the United States government.

In a statement in Abuja by the national spokesperson, Ikenga Ugochinyere, the coalition declared that the development was one of the visible signs of the pariah state which Mr Buhari had turned the country into.

The coalition said, "the truth is that the regime of the military junta, General Sani Abacha, in all its ingloriousness, was far better than this present administration.

"All indices are pointing to the fact that this All Progressives Congress government is bent on running this country aground.

"All parts of the country are currently under security siege with killings, kidnappings, banditry and insurgency becoming the order of the day.

"The electoral impunity being displayed under this government has reversed the gains of electoral reforms carried out by past administration.

"Poverty is endemic on a large scale and it is visible wherever one turns to in the country while corruption, especially in high places, has continued unabated.

"All of these and more are consequences of Buhari's incurable incompetence."

The coalition, while expressing concern about the future of the country as well as the fate of Nigerians and generation yet unborn, called on Mr Buhari to resign "before it is too late to save the republic from the consequences of his legendary incompetence."

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