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Nigeria: Government may reciprocate the visa restriction imposed by US and other countries

Devdiscourse News Desk | Abuja | Updated: 13-08-2020 08:25 IST | Created: 12-08-2020 12:37 IST
Nigeria: Government may reciprocate the visa restriction imposed by US and other countries
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has said that the government may reciprocate the visa restriction imposed on its citizens by the United States and other countries, according to a news report by This Day.

This Comptroller-General of the NIS, Mohammed Babandede has said this while explaining the new visa policy that was launched by the President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

The US had in January 2020 said it would suspend the issuance of visas that can lead to permanent residency for nationals of Nigeria, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar. However, they could apply for other visa categories.

The US had also introduced reciprocity fees for Nigerians thereby nearly doubling the cost of obtaining a visa based on the premise that Americans seeking Nigerian visas were paying too much to secure it.

Mohammed Babandede argued that like the US, Nigeria has the right to dictate who it allows in or restricts from entering the country.

"I can tell you that the US is a country, it is a nation like Nigeria. They have the right to restrict who will enter their territory or not just like we can restrict US citizens or whomsoever from entering Nigeria," Babandede said.

"So they have the right, but I want people to know that visa restriction is not a visa ban, it is a ban for people who want to take residency not people who want to go for short visits.

"You are aware that President Muhammadu Buhari just launched a new visa policy for Nigeria, the visa policy has 79 classes of visa. So, we will be in a position to say to countries, if you allow us for short visits we will allow you for short visits and if you stop us from other visits, we do the same, because the new visa policy is based on reciprocity."


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