Visa restrictions: FG, US officials to hold crucial negotiation next week

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The committee set up by the President Muhammadu Buhari to look into issues surrounding the recent suspension of United States’ immigrant visa issuance to Nigerians has begun talks with the American government officials over the matter, it was learnt on Friday.

Buhari had named the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, as the head of the committee, raised to liaise with the US government on the matter. The visa ban effective from February 21 listed Nigeria together with Eritrea, Myanmar, Tanzania and Kyrgyzstan.

It was also reported that the US justified the decision, stating that Nigeria didn’t adequately share public-safety and terrorism-related information necessary for the protection of national security and public safety of the US. A highly placed source privy to the development on Friday night said that the committee which included the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, held a meeting with the US government in Abuja on Wednesday night.

The source said the issues raised by the US were largely addressed even before the sanction was slammed on Nigeria. He, however, stated that the absence of proper communication caused Nigeria to be sanctioned.

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