FG Reveals Plan to Get Nigeria Off US Ban List
By Olamide Fadoju
Nigeria may soon be excluded from the US travel ban list. The Federal Government has disclosed plans that are underway to fulfil all requirements for removal from the list.
Nigeria is one of four African countries given a visa ban that will see Nigerians will no longer have access to immigrant visas that offer a path to permanent residency, and possibly citizenship.
Since the announcement of the ban, there have been speculations on why Africa’s most populous country was shut out but the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama says the country’s inclusion on the list was strictly for security measures.
Onyeama while issuing a joint statement alongside the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo in Washington D.C said the country was banned because “there were security measures that were taken with regards to lost and stolen passports, data being shared, criminal history being made available and shared, known terrorists and suspected terrorist information being made available ”
He further assured that the country is doing everything required to take her name off the list as soon as possible.
“We have identified all those requirements and we have started working on them. And the US officials have also confirmed that we have been able to tick all of those boxes.
“With regards to lost and stolen passports we are putting in place the architecture that will now make the information immediately available to the US and all the member countries of the Interpol and we hope to have that up and running very soon and no longer going through third parties.
"And hopefully once that has been achieved we look forward to being taken of this visa restriction list."
Meanwhile, the Foreign Affairs Minister has appealed to US businesses to come invest in Nigeria stressing that the country and the US should be doing more business together.
“We believe that the US can do in also promoting and encouraging US businesses to come and invest in Nigeria. President Buhari has put in place measures to make Nigeria a more attractive place to invest in. We have sort of striven to move Nigeria up the World’s bank rating on the ease of doing business list and we are moving in the right direction.”