President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that it will take enormous resources to reverse the ban on immigrant visas for Nigerians by the United States Government. He also noted that the country is making some progress in this regard.
The president disclosed this on Thursday, August 14, 2020, when he received the report of the committee on citizen data management and harmonization in Abuja. He pointed out that 2 out of the 6 areas of concern raised by the United States had been fully addressed.
The committee was set up in February this year to address areas of concern that led to the temporary suspension of issuing immigrant visas to Nigerians.
It can be recalled that the Trump administration, in January announced the placing of new visa restrictions on 6 countries namely Eritrea, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan, in an expansion of its controversial travel ban policy.
The ban on those 6 countries, which took effect in February, prevents their citizens from obtaining U.S. visas that can lead to permanent residency.
U.S. officials cited issues such as sub-par passport technology and failure to sufficiently exchange information on terrorism suspects and criminals as reasons for the ban.
The Minister for Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who had asked the U.S. ambassador in Abuja to drop the ban, also chaired a committee to address U.S. concerns.
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In his statement on Thursday, Buhari said that after suggestions from a report by the committee, they had fully resolved two out of six U.S. concerns, substantially satisfied two others, and had made some progress on the last two.
But he said they were still drafting a workable plan for the report’s full suggestions, which require enormous resources.
“I am delighted that this progress, especially the uploading of Lost and Stolen Passport and Travel Documents, has been acknowledged by the United States Government,” he said.
Buhari explained that Nigeria would harmonize citizen identification data held by different parts of government, create a national criminal management system modelled on INTERPOL, and start a national criminal DNA laboratory, although his statement did not specify what the country had already done.
It should be noted that Nigerians can still obtain visas for study, work, and travel in the United States.
FG to open Kano, new MM International Airports for use in March
The new MAKIA terminal, new Murtala Muhammed international Airport (MMIA) will be ready before the end of March 2021.
The Federal Government is to open the new Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) terminal, and new Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) for business before the end of March 2021, while the Akanu Ibiam International Airport (AIIA), Enugu terminal will come on stream in due course.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, recently at the Nigeria’s National Action Committee on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), where part of his mission was to advocate support for the industry.
He said, “We also advocate for special support for aviation industry specifically, to fast track systems upgrade in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu in a view to matching international best standards.
“In our own modest way in Nigeria, we have developed these five airports. We have completed Abuja, Port Harcourt and put to use. Kano is completed and will be put to use in March, Lagos will be put to use in the same March and Enugu in due course.”
MMA2 imports new x-ray machines from US
MMA2, Lagos took delivery of new x-ray machines ordered by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) to upgrade its facilities.
The Murtala Muhammed Airport, Terminal 2, Lagos has taken delivery of new x-ray machines ordered by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) to upgrade its facilities on Friday.
This was disclosed by the Group Corporate Affairs Manager of BASL, operator of MMA2, Mikail Mumuni, in a statement on Friday.
He said, “The equipment imported from the US arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos Wednesday night from where they were later moved to MMA2.
”Installation of the x-ray machines and air conditioners will commence on Friday evening and that this would be completed within one week.”
The BASL spokesperson quoted the acting Head of Business of the company, Mr. Ralph Uchegbu as saying that “the installation of the new X-ray machines and air conditionals will further reinforce the status of MMA2 as the nation’s pre-eminent airport terminal in terms of customers security and comfort.”
What you should know
- BASL recently announced that it had invested over $500,000 massive upgrading of its X-ray machines and air conditioning systems for passengers safety, security and comfort.
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