SWITZERLAND, FEBRUARY 01 – President Muhammadu Buhari, 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.
On Friday, the US announced temporary travel restrictions on six countries, including Nigeria.
The suspension did not apply to other US visas such as those for official, business, tourism and student travel.
The US said it imposed the restriction on Nigeria as a result of the country’s failure to comply with its established identity-management and information-sharing criteria.
But in a statement on Saturday, Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, said the committee chaired by Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, would study the new requirements by the US.
“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 certain security criteria by foreign governments,” he said.
“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.
“Accordingly, Mr President has established a committee, to be Chaired by the Hon. Minister of Interior, to study and address the updated U.S. requirements. The committee will work with the U.S Government, INTERPOL and other stakeholders to ensure all updates are properly implemented.”
There have been different reactions to the action of the US government. Atiku Abubakar, a former vice-president, has blamed the action on the “deficiencies and deep faults” of the Buhari administration.
Meanwhile, the US house of representatives says it will soon establish a “no ban act” against the immigrant visa ban of President Donald Trump.
Trump had included Nigeria among the six countries he imposed an immigrant visa ban on. Other countries are Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Tanzania and Sudan.
The ban did not apply to other US visas such as those for official, business, tourism and student travel.
Reacting, Nancy Pelosi, US speaker, said Trump’s travel ban undermines the US global leadership, constitution and heritage.
Pelosi said the house will soon establish an act to limit the president’s “ability to impose such biased and bigoted restrictions.”