The United States has stated clearly conditions that the Nigerian government has to meet for it to review the recent visa ban, which were slammed on six countries, including Nigeria.
The U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs Mary-Beth Leonard, stated the conditions during a visit to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Mrs Leonard assured that the policy will be reviewed when Nigeria improves her data intelligence, such that it would be easy to investigate any immigrant wishing to visit the United States and meet information-sharing systems.
The United States visa ban on the six countries means that citizens from Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar will now be blocked from obtaining certain types of visas.
“I think I need to clarify something for you here, the immigrant visa ban does not affect people who are currently resident in the United States. It does not cancel the status of anyone currently in the United States.
“What Mike Pompeo, U.S Secretary of States, 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 goal so that the decision can be reviewed. Also, students visas are not affected by the current visa ban.”
While speaking on diversification policy, Mrs Leonard said there was need for skill set of Nigerians to be effectively harnessed and internationalised, such that they would not be seen as illegal immigrants when they go abroad to work.
“I think for Nigeria, you have an interesting story about the diversification of your economy and the prosperity of your economy and its people. You know Nigerians are so well known at home and abroad for their industriousness.”
She, however, advised the Nigerian government to capture the entrepreneurial spirit in the informal sector by bringing onboard into the formal sector service to enhance employment in the country.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, however, said the immigrant visa ban by the United States was impunity.
Mr Ngige swiftly stated during the meeting that Nigeria has over 70 per cent of its professionals who migrated to the United States for the betterment of their skills.
“This includes the medical doctors, engineers, ICT, among others, who are resident in the U.S and when the U.S government gave the ban it came to us as a rude shock that their legal status would be cancelled.
“I will want to say that Nigerian professionals over there are highly qualified to have their visa status residence over there,” he said.
Mr Ngige thereby called on the United States government to assist Nigeria to build schools in the areas where child labour is endemic in the country.
“We have done a total of 14,000 labour inspection out of which we detected about 3,900 child labour defaulters and we have empowered them economically and encouraged them to go to school or learn skills,” he stated.