Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said it will take enormous resources to reverse the ban on immigrant visas for Nigerians by the United States Government, reported CGTN Africa. He also noted that the country is making some progress in this regard.
Nigeria was among six countries listed in an expanded version of U.S. President Donald Trump’s travel and visa ban, announced in January. The visa restrictions were also placed on Eritrea, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan. The ban on those 6 countries prevents their citizens from obtaining U.S. visas that can lead to permanent residency.
The U.S. authorities cited issues such as sub-par passport technology and failure to sufficiently exchange information on terrorism suspects and criminals for inclusion of Nigeria’s name in the visa ban list.
In a statement on Thursday, Buhari said that after suggestions from a report by the committee on citizen data management and harmonization, they had fully resolved two out of six U.S. concerns, substantially satisfied two others and had made some progress on the last two. The committee was set up in February this year to address areas of concern that led to the temporary suspension of issuing immigrant visas to the people of Nigeria.
The Nigerian president, however, said the government was still working on drafting a workable plan for the report’s full suggestions, which require enormous resources.
“I am delighted that this progress, especially the uploading of Lost and Stolen Passport and Travel Documents, has been acknowledged by the United States Government,” Buhari said.
Nigerian Interior Minister Ogbeni Aregbesola asked the U.S. ambassador in Abuja to drop the ban, but also chaired a committee to address U.S. concerns.
Notably, Nigerians can still obtain visas for study, work, and travel in the United States. In the 2018 fiscal year, only 8,000 Nigerians obtained immigrant visas.