We’ll lift visa ban on Nigeria if…- US

Whatapp News



Mary Leonard

The United States has declared that the visa ban placed on Nigeria and other countries was a temporary measure.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, said the visa ban could be resolved between the two countries if the Nigerian government meets certain conditions.

The US ambassador said that Nigeria needed to meet information sharing goals before the decision would be reversed by the US government.

She said this during a visit to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige in Abuja on Tuesday.

The ambassador said the ban was based on US concerns over needs for information sharing and not about character definition.

Leonard said that students visa were not included in the ban.

The ambassador said the immigrant visa ban does not affect people who are currently resident in the United States.

She also said the ban does not cancel the status of anyone who is currently in the United States.

The US ambassador said: “I need to clarify something for you here, the immigrant visa ban does not affect people who are currently resident in the United States.

“It does not cancel the status of anyone who currently is in the United States.

“What Secretary Pompey said was something that was meant to be temporary.

“And it is about problems with information sharing which are investigable, achievable and resolveable and we look forward to Nigeria in a very short time being able to meet those information sharing goal so that the decision can be reviewed.”

The US ambassador noted that Nigeria was blessed with the ingenuity to diversify its economy, noting that the industrious endowment of many Nigerians home and abroad.

According to her, these were ingredient that should be employed to tackle unemployment.

“I think for Nigeria, you have an interesting story about diversification of your economy and prosperity of your economy and it is people.

“You know Nigerians are so well known at home and abroad for their industriousness.

“You know you hear about how much of the activity in the informal sector. So I wonder how you think about capturing that entrepreneurial spirit and to bringing it into the formal sector in service and to enhance employment,” she added.

Ngige said the inclusion of Nigeria in the list of countries under the US travel ban was a shock to the country.

The minister described the ban as unwarranted because of the contribution of Nigerian professionals to the US economy.

The Minister said: “Some of these Nigerians are medical doctors, engineers and people with high level of proficiency in oil and gas fields.

“They were all part of the Nigerian residents in the US and it came to us as a rude shock when the US government banned Nigerians and put us in the list of those countries whose residency status have been cancelled.”

Ngige urged the US ambassador to discuss the visa ban issue with her home government in order to reach an understanding and have it reversed.

The Minister told the US ambassador that more than 70 per cent of Nigerians living in the US were highly skilled professionals who contributed billions of dollars yearly to US economy while sending equally impressive amount to Nigeria.


He used the opportunity of the visit to seek for collaboration and assistance of the US in the area of poverty eradication and child labour. He said Nigeria would not demand for money from the US but other forms of assistance.

“We have called on the US Department of Labour to assist and we have given them a list of what we need.

“We are not asking for monetary assistance and we are not asking for American cash but we need technical assistance and logistics like vehicles for those in the inspectorate division to be able to carry out their functions.

“We call on US to help us build schools in those areas where child labour is endemic. You also help in setting up clinics and executing its own empowerment programmes in those localities,” the minister added.

The Nation

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