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US actions against Nigeria, four time in just eight months

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The United States of America in just eight months has taken major measures against Nigeria.

Despite the fact that the two nations are partners, the U.S., in its clarification of each activity, clarified that Nigeria either dismissed alerts or neglected to do what’s needed on the issues followed up on.

At various occasions in the previous eight months, the force to be reckoned with settled on four choices that activated neighborhood and worldwide talk.

On three occasions, the self-acclaimed ‘giant of Africa’ promised to make amendments. But in response to one, Nigeria presidency not only protested, it chastised President Donald Trump and counselled his administration to focus on problems affecting America.

Upsides and downsides of U.S. announcements are being affirmed yet the last in clear lead. Nigerians are aroused for the explanation that they can’t comprehend how the authority overlooked that a line in time spares nine.

Citizens, home and abroad, are continuing the conversation in private and public.

May 14, 2019: The U.S Embassy in Nigeria announced the indefinite suspension of interview waivers for renewals, otherwise known as the “Dropbox” process.

“All applicants in Nigeria seeking a nonimmigrant 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”, a statement issued read.

The U.S. explained that Nigeria’s processing procedures are regularly reviewed in order to assess the ability to quickly, efficiently, and securely process visa applications.

A retired Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Olukunle Bamgbose and Amb. Dapo Fafowora, a former Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, in separate reactions, believed that there was no serious implication.

The U.S. explained that Nigeria’s processing procedures are regularly reviewed in order to assess the ability to quickly, efficiently, and securely process visa applications.

A retired Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Olukunle Bamgbose and Amb. Dapo Fafowora, a former Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, in separate reactions, believed that there was no serious implication.

However, the Nigerian government seemed bothered. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, disclosed that the ministry promptly engaged the U.S. to make visa issuance less difficult for genuine citizens.

Onyeama lamented that most of the inimical migrant decisions taken by some countries were caused by disobedient Nigerians.

“Those who do not obey the rule (i.e. overstay their visas) of other countries have more negative impact on those who obeyed,” the minister said.

“We have engaged with the U.S government. We are trying to work through them and they are looking at various alternative and solutions to make less difficult for the genuine visitors.

“We are doing what we can, they (U.S. Embassy) told me that there would be expedited interview for certain people; that there would be flexibility to request for an interview.”

August 27, 2019: Just as Nigerians adjusted to the new system, the U.S. announced that they will be required to pay a visa issuance fee, or reciprocity fee, for all approved applications for nonimmigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications.

“The reciprocity fee will be charged in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee, also known as the MRV fee, which all applicants pay at the time of application”, the Embassy in Nigeria said.

“Nigerian citizens whose applications for a nonimmigrant visa are denied will not be charged the new reciprocity fee. Both reciprocity and MRV fees are non-refundable, and their amounts vary based on visa classification”.

This time, America pointedly blamed Nigeria, affirming that its decision was an eye for an eye.

The Embassy recalled that since early 2018, the U.S. government engaged the Nigerian government to request a change in the fees charged to U.S. citizens for certain visa categories.

“After eighteen months of review and consultations, the government of Nigeria has not changed its fee structure for U.S. citizen visa applicants, requiring the U.S. Department of State to enact new reciprocity fees in accordance with our visa laws”, it justified.

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, directed the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede, to act immediately.

A statement by the ministry acknowledged that “there were engagements with the United States Embassy on the issue and in the aftermath, a committee was set up to conduct due diligence in line with the Ministry’s extant policy on reciprocity of visa fees.

“The committee had concluded its assignment and submitted a report but the issuance of authorization for its recommendations was delayed due to transition processes in the ministry at the policy level.”

The government then revealed that it had approved the decrease of visa charges payable by U.S. citizens.

Yet, the hurried slash failed to stop the revenge as America executed its resolution precisely forty-eight hours later. Till date, Nigerians still pay the fee.

December 20, 2019: America confirmed that it beamed its searchlight on religion in Nigeria and discovered that there was a high level of intolerance. (From DailyPost)

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