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Business

US says ‘drop box’ visa processing is still suspended in Nigeria

The US Government said that the suspension of the ‘drop box’ visa processing is still in force and not yet been lifted in Nigeria.

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US Government removes visa reciprocity fees for Nigerians

The United States Government said on Friday that the suspension of the non-immigrant visa interview waiver process, popularly referred to as ‘drop box’ is still in force and not yet been lifted in Nigeria.

The clarification by the embassy is coming against the background of recent media reports which suggests the lifting of the ban.

This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the US mission in Nigeria, titled, ‘Drop Box Visa Processing Is Not Available in Nigeria, According To U.S. Mission To Nigeria’ issued by the US mission in Nigeria, on Friday, March 20, 2021.

READ: US revises visa issuance fees for Nigerians

The statement also says that the US State Department continues to evaluate each country’s eligibility based on numerous factors such as overstaying rates and visa-related fraud.

The statement from the US mission in Nigeria reads, “Despite recent media reports, the non-immigrant visa interview waiver process, popularly known as the “drop box,” has been discontinued in Nigeria since 2018. The State Department continually evaluates each country’s eligibility based on numerous factors including overstay rates and visa-related fraud. U.S. Mission Nigeria is committed to promoting legitimate travel to the United States. All applicants who wish to apply for a visa must kindly appear for an interview.’’

READ: US Ambassador opens centre in Lagos, to boost entrepreneurial skills among Nigerian youth

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What you should know

It can be recalled that the US mission in Nigeria, on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, announced the indefinite suspension of drop box process for visa renewals in all its consulates in Nigeria, noting that visa applications would no longer be accepted by DHL in the country.

The ban may not be unconnected to reports of Nigerians overstaying in the US when on a visit.

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READ: U.S Government makes a premium selling Bitcoin

The mission in its statement said, “All applicants in Nigeria seeking a non-immigrant visa to the United States must apply online, and will be required to appear in-person at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or U.S. Consulate General in Lagos to submit their application for review. Applicants must appear at the location they specified when applying for the visa renewal. Mission Nigeria’s processing procedures are regularly reviewed in order to assess our ability to quickly, efficiently, and securely process visa applications. The U.S. Mission is taking this step to provide more efficient customer service and promote legitimate travel, and will continue to facilitate applications of established travellers to the best of its ability.’’

The suspension of “Drop box” visa application in Nigeria was one of the stringent visa policies introduced by the Donald Trump administration which also restricted entry into the US by certain nationals including Nigerians based on visa type.

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Business

CBN includes sugar, wheat on FX restriction list

The CBN is set to include sugar and wheat in the forex restriction list.

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CBN forex restrictions on food itemsCBN approves new cheque standard for banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced plans to place sugar and wheat on its FX restriction list.

The plan was disclosed by the apex bank via its verified Twitter handle in a statement credited to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.

The tweet stated: “Sugar and Wheat to go into our FX restriction list. We must work together to produce these items in Nigeria rather than import them. #Emefiele.”

It would be recalled that over the years, the CBN has been reviewing its list of restricted food items to include more items, with the most recent being the addition of maize, a widely-consumed staple food in the country.

What you should know

  • The CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had earlier (on Thursday) given this hint while on an inspection visit to the proposed $500 million sugar processing facility in Nasarawa state, belonging to Dangote Sugar.
  • In 2015, the CBN listed 41 items that had been placed on its FX restriction list citing that the move was necessary to conserve the nation’s foreign reserve and boost local production of the items on the restriction list.
  • Some of the items which made the 2015 list are margarine, poultry and eggs, rice, and cement.
  • In 2020, the apex bank included maize in its FX restriction list as it directed all authorised dealers to immediately discontinue the processing of Forms M for maize/corn importation into the country.
  • Nairametrics had also earlier explained in its publication following the new policy shift, that the government’s premise for deciding to restrict FOREX on food is faulty, especially since Nigeria has not attained full food security and the agricultural sector is still struggling.

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FG signs new Sustainable Development Goals agreement with UN

The Agreement is for new development cooperation with initiatives towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals set in the UN Agenda 2030.

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Xenophobia, FG reacts to inclusion of Nigeria on religious freedom blacklist by United States

The Nigerian Government has signed a deal with the United Nations to develop new cooperation towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in a statement on Thursday after the agreement was signed with the United Nations Office for Project Services, UNOPS, represented by Ifeoma Charles.

The Minister said, “On behalf of the Nigerian Government, I signed an agreement with the UNOPS represented by Ifeoma Charles Multi-Country Office Rep. The Agreement is for a new development cooperation with initiatives towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals set in the UN Agenda 2030.”

What you should know 

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are:

No Poverty; Zero Hunger, Good Health, and Well-being; Quality Education; Gender Equality; Clean Water and Sanitation; Affordable and Clean Energy; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Reducing Inequality; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action; Life Below Water; Life on Land; Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and Partnership for the Goals.

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