Travel

USA Travel Ban on Nigeria: A Blessing in Disguise or a Forgotten Agenda?

The US travel ban on Nigeria is still standing, but the restriction at the moment is inconsequential as most countries have shut its borders because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On January 31, 2020, the United States restricted Nigeria from entering its country. This is no longer news but the ban is yet to be lifted despite all appeals from the Nigerian government.

At the moment, the US travel ban on Nigeria seems to be a forgotten issue as other pressing issues have taken the centre stage.

Following the visa policy of the United States of America, Nigeria was included in the lists of countries that will no longer be issued visas that could lead to permanent residency.

Although, Nigeria and the USA, have a bilateral relationship. It is imprecise to many why the United States would want to break a relationship that has been cemented. Another question begging for answers is does Nigeria deserve the travel ban from the USA?

It is the sole duty of every president to sit tight and, protect the citizens. Perhaps this is what the U.S President, Donald Trump, has done.

In a bid to tackle terrorism, the United States declined from issuing immigrant and non- immigrant visas to nationals from Islamic nations which seemed justified to an extent. But the rationale in Including Nigeria to the lists is preposterous.

Read also: W.H.O frowns as Trump Halts Coronavirus Funding

Currently, Nigeria is facing a high-end security challenge. No doubt, the situation in Nigeria is appalling.

Issues ranging from terrorism, kidnapping, and other vices scare investors from coming to Nigeria. Thereby, hurting the economy.

Nigeria may not be a haven for foreigners at the moment. But what many Nigerians would want to know is how the internal issues of the country in a way affect the United States of America.

Nigerians are great travellers and the USA is amongst the preferred destinations for lots of Nigerians.

Placing restrictions on Nigerians from applying for a certain class of visas in the U.S can generate further problems such as attracting bans from other top tier countries.

The US travel ban on Nigeria: What is the travel ban all about and the fuss about the ban?

Nigeria been included in the list came as a shock. Because Nigeria was never among the lists of travellers president Trump had placed a ban on.

Countries like Libya, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, Syria and Iran (six mainly Muslim countries) were first announced as the lists of countries barred from entering the United States of America in 2017.

According to the US president, Donald Trump, this is not about religion. This is about terror and keeping the country (USA) safe as the plans to keep radical terrorist groups from entering the USA strengthens.

Why the ban on Nigeria?

The reason is not far-fetched. The security concerns in Nigeria is so worrisome. In the quest to curb the insecurity challenges for the past 10 years, the country is yet to win the war.

The Nigerian government on several occasions has sought foreign help towards the fight on the insurgency. Nigeria is currently battling the Boko haram insurgents in the North-East part of the country. It is a case of terrorism. Terrorism is a global war and if not tackled, it can spread to other countries.

To prevent such from entering the United States is exactly what President Trump is acting upon.

On why Nigeria is included?

The U.S administration has reiterated that Nigeria and the other countries restricted from entering the United States was because the affected countries could not meet up with the U.S security standards.

The visa ban does not affect all classes of U.S visa. It is mainly for immigrant and non-immigrant visa types.

That is to say, nationals from Nigeria can still visit the U.S with a tourist visa, business and student visa.

The US travel ban on Nigeria: The way forward

Sadly, Nigeria and these other countries such as Eritrea, Tanzania, Belarus, Myanmar, Sudan, and Kyrgyzstan are banned from entering the US.

But, Nigeria’s case is uncharacteristic because the U.S and Nigeria have built strong ties, especially in areas of tackling terrorism and cybercrime issues.

To be included in the list does not mean that the already established relationship has been tumble-down. However, an appeal can get the ban lifted.

The US travel ban on Nigeria can be said to be temporary. If all the issues cited as U.S security concerns are addressed, the US travel ban on Nigeria can be reviewed.

To be delisted from the lists, adequate measures should be put in ensuring that security issues in Nigeria are curtailed. The travel ban can be lifted once Nigeria is cleared.

Conclusion

With the outbreak of the coronavirus currently ravaging many countries, the US, included.

Nigeria appealing at this time may be a misplaced priority. However, maintaining a country relationship is necessary as no nation is an Island.

The United States is having one of the highest cases of people infected with the coronavirus. Just maybe, if the ban was not placed on Nigeria, by now, the number of persons infected with the virus would be very high.

The United States may delist Nigeria from the lists of banned countries if Nigeria can meet the demands.

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