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US: Our Reason For The Travel Ban On Nigeria

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Nigeria is among the seven countries that the United States imposed visa bans on, and now, officials of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), have issued a statement regarding the reason for the visa ban.

The reason given was that Nigeria has failed to adhere to the identity-managment and information-sharing criteria that it had long shared with the US government.

The DHS stated that the ban was necessitated by the US’ inability to assess the identities of visitors into the country, and  “assess whether they pose a national security or public safety risk.”

Nigeria and the United States work together in combating vices like cyber fraud, drugs, and terrorism, but since Nigeria’s passport database is in the possession of a third-party organization, the ease of information sharing between Nigeria and the US had become “problematic”.

In the statement issued by the US following the travel restrictions it set on Nigerians, the Department of Homeland Security said, “Nigeria does not comply with the established identity-management and information-sharing criteria assessed by the performance metrics.”

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The restrictions is limited to all Nigerian immigrants to the US, with the exception of “Special Immigrants whose eligibility is based on having provided assistance to the U.S. Government.”

Although, the DHS assures that unlike the other ban it had imposed on some other countries, this one is “less restrictive”, and it is only aimed at “country-specific deficiencies” when trying to ascertain the level of travel-related risks.

The statement says in part, “Like the seven countries that continue to face travel restrictions pursuant to Proclamation 9645, the six additional countries added for restrictions are among the worst performing in the world; however, there are prospects for near-term improvement for these six countries.

“The restrictions imposed by this proclamation reflect the U.S. government’s greater confidence that these countries can make meaningful improvements in a reasonable period of time.

“If that expectation is met, the President may remove travel restrictions at any time. Conversely, the President has also determined that if improvements are not made, additional restrictions may be added.”

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