- The NIS has disclosed that the federal government may reciprocate the visa restriction imposed on its citizens by the United States
- This comptroller-general of the NIS, Mohammed Babandede made the disclosure during an interview
- Babandede said Nigeria has the right to dictate who it allows in or restricts entry from
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The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has disclosed that the federal government may reciprocate the visa restriction imposed on its citizens by the United States and other countries.
This comptroller-general of the NIS, Mohammed Babandede made the statement when reacting to the inclusion of Nigeria by the USA to its list of countries with visa restrictions.
According to The Cable, the immigration boss told TheSignature50 magazine in an interview that the new visa policy launched by President Muhammadu Buhari earlier in the year is reciprocal in nature.
He said like the US, Nigeria has the right to dictate who it allows in or restricts entry from.
“I can tell you that 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 citizen or whomsoever from entering Nigeria,” Babandede said.
He explained that visa restriction is not the same as a visa ban, noting that a ban applies to people who want to take residency not people who want to go for short visits.
“So, we will test this for a year and see those who reciprocate and we take actions for those who do otherwise,” he said.
Meanwhile, a news report from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) indicates that 370 Nigerians were ordered to leave the United States this year, after being found guilty of breaking immigration laws and other crimes.
Premium Times reported that the data was obtained from the ICE and compiled in a June report by a global tracking website on government policy (TRAC).
TRAC is a US-based tracking website that keeps databases of immigration, FBI cases and firearms data for public access. According to the report, the Nigerians mainly resided in Texas, New Jersey, California, New York and others.
In another report, the United Arab Emirates has denied restricting Nigerians from travelling to their country.
The country in a statement posted on its embassy Twitter handle in Nigeria said it made this clarification after reports surfaced on social media concerning the issue.
UAE noted that truly, there was a restriction as a result of the ravaging coronavirus pandemic but this has now been lifted and countries have been allowed into the country.
The country claimed the issue of Nigerians not gaining access to the UAE was due to the closure of Nigeria's airspace.
Going further, the UAE reiterated its commitment to the friendship between the two countries.
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