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Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, at the meeting with the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, at his office in Abuja on Wednesday/Photo: Dolapo Ogundiran

Nigeria appeals to US to review visa restriction on its citizens

The Nigerian government has called on the United States of America to consider the long-standing relationship between the two countries and reverse its visa restrictions on Nigeria.

The Federal Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the call on Wednesday when he received the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, and her team at his office in Abuja.

According to a statement from the ministry, the government of Nigeria believes that the cooperation with the United States will help address immigration and consular issues in control of persons seeking to enter both countries through the issuance of visa, passport, and other travel documents.

Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, at the meeting with the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, at his office in Abuja on Wednesday/Photo: Dolapo Ogundiran

 

The minister revealed that Nigeria has complied with most of the issues of concern raised by the US, stressing that Nigeria is not a pariah nation.

He listed some of the issues raised to include the uploading of over 700 stolen and lost passports on the database of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).

Aregbesola, therefore, appealed to the US to review its visa validity to Nigerians from two years limit to at least five years.

He also called for the establishment of a third office in the country, in reciprocity with Nigeria which has diplomatic missions in Atlanta, New York, and Washington DC.

United States had last month imposed immigrant visa ban on Nigeria and five other countries. Citizens of the affected countries would not be allowed to apply for visas to emigrate to the US under the policy aimed at tightening “security for countries that don’t comply with the US minimum security standards or cooperate to prevent illegal immigration.”

Kola Tella

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