The United States Government has stated that the recent visa policy ban placed on Nigeria is a temporary measure, as it gave the Nigerian government conditions that could likely necessitate the review of the ban.
The condition involves Nigeria improving on its data intelligence such that it would be easy to investigate any immigrant wishing to visit the United States and meet information-sharing systems.
The disclosure was made by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Her Excellency, Mary Beth Leonard during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, at the ministry’s headquarters, Abuja.
Nairametrics had reported when the US added six more countries to its travel ban list. They are Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar.
Speaking on misconceptions surrounding the ban, Mrs Leonard said that the immigration policy does not affect people currently resident in the US. She said it does not cancel anyone’s status.
“I think I need to clarify something for you here. The immigrant visa ban does not affect people who are currently resident in the US. It does not cancel the status of anyone currently in the US.
“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 resolvable. We look forward to Nigeria in a very short while being able to meet those information-sharing goals so that the decision can be reviewed. Students’ visas are not affected by the current visa ban.”
While speaking further, the ambassador said Nigerians are known for their industriousness and so there was a need for them to make use of their skills and formalize it to enhance employment and diversify the economy. She said this would also make them not be seen as illegal immigrants when they go abroad to work.
To this end, Ngige responded that the issue was being looked into by the current administration. According to him, a total of 14,000 labour inspections had been done, out of which about 3,900 child labour defaulters were detected and empowered economically.
“I am happy you raised it, we talk to you on what we are doing about it. We are trying to make Nigerians have their skills so that we can even export those skills, so they will be formalized when they go out, they will not be illegal immigrants.
“We want to go out as formalized persons, whether they are carpenters, electricians, welders. So, we have our schools here. We have skills acquisition centres and we are upgrading all of them so that the certificates that come out of our skills departments will be generally accepted. So we want to Internationalize it. We are upgrading so that they can even become entrepreneurs,” Ngige said, as reported by Vanguard.