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Nigeria Making Progress To Reverse US Visa Restrictions – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that his administration is making progress to reverse the United States suspension of the issuance of immigrant visas to Nigerian passport holders.

It would be recalled that US president, Donald Trump imposed an immigration visa ban on Nigeria.

Other countries affected by the visa restriction are Eritrea, Myanmar, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania and Kyrgyzstan.

The citizens of these countries were blocked from obtaining certain types of visas but will still be able to visit the US as tourists.

The President has however given the assurance on Thursday while receiving the report of the committee on Citizen Data Management and Harmonization chaired by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola.

President Buhari in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, expressed delight that two out of the six areas of concern raised by the United States had been fully addressed.

The committee was set up in February this year to address issues that led to the U.S temporary visa restrictions on Nigerian passport holders.

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

Commending the committee for its patriotic diligence in carrying out the assignment, President Buhari assured Nigerians and the international community of the timely implementation of the committee’s recommendations after due consideration.

He stated;

The progress made by Nigeria towards the removal of the visa restrictions as two out of the six areas of concern raised by the United States had been fully addressed. Two are substantially satisfied while some progress is being made on the remaining two.

I am delighted that this progress, especially the uploading of Lost and Stolen Passport and Travel Documents has been acknowledged by the United States Government.

The committee had among other things recommended the establishment of a National Criminal Information Management, fashioned after the INTERPOL model, and a National Criminal DNA Laboratory, to aid criminal investigation, administration of criminal justice as well as sharing of relevant information.

President Buhari noted that the implementation of these and other far-reaching recommendations as articulated in the report will fully address all outstanding issues that led to the visa restrictions.

The President also pledged his Government’s commitment to sustaining the follow-up for the removal of the visa restrictions by the United States and developing a credible harmonized National Identity Data Management System.

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