Nigerians have heaved a sigh relief after the United States disclosed that they will not be banned from entering the country, contrary to the speculation of many.
New President Donald Trump had signed an Executive Order barring citizens from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan from entering the country for 90 days and also suspended the admission of all refugees for 120 days.
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador W. Stuart Symington, who said at the weekend, during a media briefing on the travel ban, said the US holds Nigeria in high esteem and would not ban its citizens from entering its country.
He said the connection between the two countries has been strong and will continue to be strong.
He refuted the claim that Nigerians’ visa status had been reduced to just one year.
The ambassador said that nothing has really changed in the Visa policy for Nigeria, stressing that the two years multiple entry status is still valid for Nigerians.
The ambassador said that a Nigerian who has dual nationality with the seven affected Muslim countries would not be banned from entering the U.S.
“Security is not the job of only one country; let me reassure Nigerians that every single action the US takes would be on the basis of legality and due process. No one will be discriminated. No Nigerian would be denied visas because he or she is from a particular region of the country.”
“Nigeria’s leadership role is crucial in the world and Nigeria cannot be blacklisted. The importance of Nigeria in the world is legal,” he added.