US may lift visa ban in one month –Onyeama

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Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, yesterday, expressed optimism that the United States might lift the visa ban on Nigeria in a month’s time.

Onyeama stated this on the sidelines of the fifth Nigeria-United States Bi-National Commission (BNC) in Washington D.C., United States. He said the U.S. was apprehensive over the variations of Nigerian data system and third party involvement in the management of the passport system, particularly information and data on lost and stolen passports.

According to him, after deliberations on the visa ban, the U.S. government had assured Nigeria that it was possible to lift the ban if the Federal Government could resolve issues raised in one month.

The U.S., last week, slammed a visa ban on Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania on account of performance metrics for identity-management and information-sharing criteria.

The U.S. was piqued that there was lack of credible background investigation system that security groups like Interpol could rely on in vetting and certifying originality of prospective immigrants to the U.S. from the affected countries.

Onyema said, after the ban, President Muhammadu Buhari had inaugurated a committee to resolves the issues that led to the ban on immigrant visas to Nigerians.

He said, in line with the presidential directive,  the Nigerian government had taken steps to address the issues raised by the U.S.

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