Buhari reacts to US visa ban, sets up committee


The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Saturday, reacted to the suspension of the issuance of ‘immigrant visas’ to Nigerians by the United States’ Government.



He set up a committee to look into the matter with a view to meeting the requirements of the new US’ policy on visa issuance, a State House statement said in Abuja.



The committee is chaired by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola.



“The committee will work with the US Government, INTERPOL and other stakeholders to ensure all updates are properly implemented,” the statement signed by Buhari’s media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, said.



The new visa regime, which was announced by the US’ Government on January 31, comes into effect on February 21.



The US named Nigeria among six other countries affected by the new policy, including Eritrea, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan.



However, the Presidency noted that the restriction did not affect other categories of visas like official, tourism or business visas.



The Presidency’s reaction to the development read, “On January 31, 2020, the United States Department of Homeland Security announced temporary travel restrictions on six 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 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 US 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 US.



“Nigeria remains committed to maintaining productive relations with the United States and its international allies especially on matters of global security. Accordingly, President Muhammadu Buhari has established a committee, to be chaired by the Honourable Minister of Interior, to study and address the updated U.S. requirements.”
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