Visa restriction: The US government notified Nigeria in 2019, but Federal Government refused to address the deficiencies

President Muhammadu Buhari

The United States of America has revealed that the Nigerian Government was notified about the imminent visa restriction in 2019.

According to the US, Nigeria alongside other foreign governments were notified about the identity-management and information-sharing criteria.

The Republic of Chad had improved on the performance metrics and was consequently removed from the visa restrictions. However, Nigeria remains as one of the worst performing countries, which eventually led to the imposition of migrant visa.

“The process began on March 11, 2019, when the United States Government formally notified all foreign governments (except for Iran, Syria, and North Korea) about the refined performance metrics for the identity-management and information-sharing criteria,” the statement by the US reads.

Other countries affected by the ban includes Eritrea, Myanmar, Tanzania, Sudan and Kyrgyzstan.

“Since the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security issued his report on September 13, 2019, the Secretary of State, consistent with section 4(b) of Proclamation 9645, has continued to engage many foreign governments regarding the deficiencies identified in DHS’s report and has continued to consult with the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Defense, and other Cabinet-level officials about how best to protect the national interest.  Based on these engagements, in January 2020, those senior officials recommended that I maintain the entry restrictions adopted in Proclamation 9645 (as modified by Proclamation 9723), and that I exercise my authority under section 212(f) of the INA to suspend entry into the United States for nationals of six new countries — Burma (Myanmar), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania — until those countries address their identified deficiencies,” the statement titled ‘Proclamation on Improving Enhanced Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry’ published on www.whitehouse.gov reads.

Regarding the reason why Nigeria was suspended, the statement says; “Nigeria does not comply with the established identity-management and information-sharing criteria assessed by the performance metrics.  Nigeria does not adequately share public-safety and terrorism-related information, which is necessary for the protection of the national security and public safety of the United States.  Nigeria also presents a high risk, relative to other countries in the world, of terrorist travel to the United States.  Nigeria is an important strategic partner in the global fight against terrorism, and the United States continues to engage with Nigeria on these and other issues.  The Department of State has provided significant assistance to Nigeria as it modernizes its border management capabilities, and the Government of Nigeria recognizes the importance of improving its information sharing with the United States.  Nevertheless, these investments have not yet resulted in sufficient improvements in Nigeria’s information sharing with the United States for border and immigration screening and vetting.”

“The entry into the United States of nationals of Nigeria as immigrants, except as Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the United States Government, is hereby suspended,” the statement added.

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