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.
Lockdown Will Be Extended If Nigerians Don’t Behave Themselves — Lai Mohammed
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has stated that the lockdown currently experienced in some parts of the country may be extended if Nigerians don’t behave themselves.
The minister, who is a member of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, disclosed this in Abuja when he featured in a forum to give an update on government efforts at containing the pandemic, NAN reports.
“If we don’t behave ourselves, there is a likelihood that the lockdown will be extended, but if we behave ourselves, there might not be an extension and I hope we do so.
“If we stay at home for two weeks and we are doing everything we are supposed to do, we should be able to effectively contain the disease.
“Therefore, my appeal to Nigerians is that they should obey the directive on social distancing, personal hygiene and shun gatherings; after two weeks, we will resume our normal life.
“But if they think it is a joke, then we may have to stay at home more than the two weeks.”
There are 210 COVID-19 cases in Nigeria including four deaths.
The pandemic, which has infected about one million people globally, has paralysed economic and socio-religious activities in most parts of the West African country.
COVID-19: FG To Evacuate Nigerians Abroad — But Not For Free
The federal government has begun moves to bring back Nigerians who are stranded abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), asked those willing to return to notify the Nigerian missions in their respective countries.
She added via a statement on Friday that the missions will subsequently forward their names to the ministry of foreign affairs for action.
Dabiri-Erewa, however, said the financial implications of such evacuation will be borne by the respective individuals “who will be compulsorily quarantined when they return.”
“The interested Nigerians are advised to inform the missions in the various countries they are in, who will then collate and coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the statement signed by Abdur-Rahman Balogun, NIDCOM spokesman, read.
“To this end, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa urged Nigerians stranded abroad willing to return home to key into this Federal Government gesture by providing their information to the mission in their respective host countries.”
She said while embassies in several countries are also on lockdown, Nigerians willing to return should fill a form here.
Some countries have been evacuating their citizens from Nigeria amid the pandemic.
BREAKING: Nigeria Records 20 New Coronavirus Cases, Two Deaths
Nigeria has recorded 20 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the country to 210.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control made this known via its Twitter handle on Friday.
NCDC also announced that the country recorded two deaths in Lagos and Edo States.
The NCDC tweeted, “Twenty new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Nigeria; 11 in Lagos, three in the FCT, three in Edo, 2 in Osun and one in Ondo.
“Two new deaths have been recorded in Lagos and Edo States.
“As of 10:30 pm on 3rd of April, there are 210 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria.”
- Metro7 days ago
My Abductors Demanded N100m Ransom For My Freedom, I Offered Them ₦1 BILLION — GUO Motors Boss, Chief Okeke
- Inside Nigeria6 days ago
Buhari: ‘The Man Parading Himself As Nigerian President Is Fake’ — Islamic Scholar, Mohammad Tawhidi [VIDEO]
- News6 days ago
BREAKING: Immigration Boss, Babandede Tests Positive For Coronavirus
- News6 days ago
COVID-19 Is A Biological Weapon Created By China To Ground World Economies — Int’l Diplomatic Consultant [VIDEO]
- Entertainment5 days ago
COVID-19: Give Every Nigerian At Least ₦50,000 — Yul Edochie Tells Buhari
- Gist5 days ago
We Need Men More Than They Need Us — Lady Writes
- Metro6 days ago
Husband Allegedly Stabs Pregnant Wife To Death In Anambra, 2 Months After Wedding
- News6 days ago
BREAKING: UCH Chief Medical Doctor Tests Positive For Coronavirus