US travel ban: Buhari takes action as Trump blacklists Nigeria – Here is what he plans to do

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President Muhammadu Buhari has established a committee, chaired by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, to study and address updated U.S. requirements relating to the assessment of compliance with certain security criteria by foreign governments.

Buhari’s action followed the visa ban on Nigeria by the United States.

Recall that US president, Donald Trump had imposed a visa ban on Nigeria and five other countries.

The proclamation, signed by President Donald Trump on Friday, is expected to take effect on February 22.

Reacting, a statement on the Presidency official Twitter page, said the committee will work with the U.S Government, INTERPOL and other stakeholders to ensure all updates are properly implemented.

“Nigeria remains committed to maintaining productive relations with the United States and other international allies especially on matters of global security,” It added.

A United States government official said the administration was adding Nigeria and Tanzania to the list because of the number of people who come from the African countries on a visa and end up illegally staying in the United States. The official said Sudan and Eritrea had not satisfied the administration’s information-sharing requirements.

“Because we have higher confidence that these six countries will be able to make improvements in their system in a reasonable period of time, we did not feel it would be proportionate to impose restrictions on all immigrant and non-immigration visas,” a DHS official said.

The proclamation will suspend immigrant visas for nationals of Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Eritrea, Nigeria. The restriction applies to those seeking to live in the U.S. permanently, not temporary travelers.

It will also restrict diversity visas for nationals of Sudan and Tanzania.

Travelers on the way to the U.S. prior to the day it goes into effect will still be able to enter the country, the DHS official said. If an individual is in the queue to secure a visa and their interview does not take place until after Feb. 22, they will be subject to the new restrictions.

Government officials said the countries face individual challenges that led to their inclusion in the new order. For example, officials cited Sudan’s transition from a civilian-military government, Nigeria’s lack of identity management for its citizens and Myanmar’s struggles with tracking lost and stolen passports.

“DHS and the Department of State have informed each of the six countries about their specific deficiencies and are actively identifying solutions,” an official said, indicating a country could have their restrictions lifted or have more severe restrictions imposed depending on how they are evaluated moving forward.