Nigeria is the only country in West Africa sanctioned by the US Department of Home Security following a review and update of the methodology (performance metrics).
Other countries on the list are Eritrea, Myanmar, Tanzania, Sudan and Kyrgyzstan.
(1) It said Nigeria did not comply with the established identity-management and information-sharing criteria assessed by the performance metrics.
(2) Nigeria did not adequately share public-safety and terrorism-related information necessary for the protection of the national security and public safety of the US.
(3) Nigeria also presents a high risk, relative to other countries in the world, of terrorist travel to the United States.
The full report of the visa restrictions titled, ‘Proclamation on improving enhanced vetting capabilities and process’ posted in www.whitehouse.gov read in part, “Nigeria also presents a high risk, relative to other countries in the world, of terrorist travel to the United States. Nigeria is an important strategic partner in the global fight against terrorism, and the United States continues to engage with Nigeria on these and other issues.”
It further stated, “The Department of State has provided significant assistance to Nigeria as it modernises its border management capabilities, and the Government of Nigeria recognises the importance of improving its information sharing with the United States.
“Nevertheless, these investments have not yet resulted in sufficient improvements in Nigeria’s information sharing with the United States for border and immigration screening and vetting.”
The new visa regime announced by the US government on January 31, involves the suspension of the issuance of immigrant visas to Nigerian passport holders. It comes into effect on February 21.