President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday revealed that he has set up a committee to study and address the latest United States visa ban.
Naija Mode recalls that the United States had revealed that it placed a fresh ban on Nigeria and other countries due to failure to comply with its established identity-management and information-sharing criteria.
Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said the new immigration restrictions were designed to “address security concerns in the way the banned countries track their own citizens, share information with the U.S. and cooperate on immigration matters”.
The proclamation will however not take effect until February 22, 2020.
Other countries said to be affected by the new ban are Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan.
The total number of countries on the restricted travel list now stands at 13.
In a statement the Special Adviser to Buhari, Femi Adesina revealed that the committee, chaired by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, will study and address the updated U.S. requirements relating to the assessment of compliance with certain security criteria by foreign governments.
According to Buhari’s spokesperson, the committee would work with the U.S Government, INTERPOL, and other stakeholders.
He said: “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.
“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 specific 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.”