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Published On: Wed, Feb 5th, 2020

Reverse US visa ban on Nigeria now – Reps tell Buhari

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By Christiana Ekpa

The House of the Representatives yesterday asked the Federal Government to expedite necessary actions that may lead to the review or cancellation of the immigration restriction by the United States of America government.
The green chamber equally urged the leadership of the parliament to interface with every relevant government agencies and diplomatic missions towards resolving the issue and preventing similar future occurrence.
The resolutions of the House followed a Motion sponsored by Hon. Yusuf Tajudeen (Kogi PDP) on the “need to unravel circumstances that led to immigration restriction by the United States of America, seek quick resolution and prevent future occurrences”.
The Lawmaker while moving the motion said, “the United States of America on 31st January 2020, as a direct consequence of non-compliance with the established identity-management and information-sharing criteria assessed by performance metrics, placed immigration restriction on Nigeria and four other countries – Tanzania, Sudan, Eritrea, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan.
“Aware that the immigration restriction on Nigeria and these countries which is further fallout of alleged non-adequate data sharing on public safety and terrorism-related information necessary for protection is expected to take effect on 21st February 2020;
“Concerned that due to the tardiness of some government agencies and officials, Nigeria was unable to meet the deadline for performance metrics, identify management and information sharing criteria, which has led to the unfortunate immigration restriction order placed by the USA on Nigeria.
“Observes that while Nigeria; through relevant agencies and top officials was not able to meet the criteria, some developing nations like Chad and Belarus did the needful and were exempted from the immigration restrictions;
According to him, “the immigration restrictions order on Nigeria aside having far reaching multiplier effects on the polity, economy and governance, attracts serious global embarassment to our dear country.
“Disturbed that the immigration restrictions will impact negatively and have grievous repercussions on well-meaning Nigerians who have legitimate personal, vocational, career, business and academic transactions in the USAA;
“Alarmed that if the restriction order is not reversed, it may lead to more strident diplomatic measures not only by the USA but some other developed nations, which may have serious consequences on government’s initiatives geared towards national growth and development” he said.
Contributing to the debate, Hon. Sergius Ogun (Edo, PDP) suggested that the agency responsible for the ban by the United States of America be punished , saying “If smaller countries can obey rules and regulations of the USA why can’t we do the needful. This could have been avoided.
“We are talking about medical tourism. If we fix this country, there won’t be need for such again”, he added.
Also Dachung Bagos (Plateau, PDP), said “No matter the situation, it is embarrassment for Nigeria to receive a ban from US”.
The motion was however passed by the house after the prayers was put to question by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.

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