Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama on a visit to the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, at the Department of State Washington, DC on February 4, 2020 has reiterated the countries resolve to tackle the major issues which led to the US Visa ban on Nigeria.
The Minister speaking with Pompeo said the nation was “somewhat blindsided by the announcement of the visa restrictions.”
Onyeama however admitted that the major issue leading to the ban included Nigeria’s difficulty in handling lost and stolen Nigerian passports which opportunistic terrorist may take advantage of to find their way into the USA.
Speaking to news men, the US Secretary said that Trump took action partly due to the “terrorist threat” in West Africa.
Nigeria remains a “strategic partner” but Trump restricted visas as it has “room to grow in sharing important national security information,” Pompeo said.
Onyeama however assured that Nigeria was putting in place a system that would make data from such passports “immediately available” to all members of Interpol, the global law enforcement body.
“We hope to have that up and running very soon,” he said. “Hopefully, once that has been achieved, we look forward to being taken off this visa restriction list,” he added.
The current USA Visa ban primarily involve nationals from Nigeria Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Sudan and Tanzania who seek to immigrate rather than visit.