By Victoria Ojeme, with agency report ABUJA—
The United States Embassy in Abuja said, yesterday, that there was no reason for Nigerians with valid visas to postpone or cancel their travel to the United States.
The embassy said this in a statement in Abuja. It explained: “Nigeria is not named in the Executive Order on Immigration issued on March 6. And there is no prohibition against Nigerian lawful permanent residents or persons with a valid visa or other US government authorisation from entering the US.”
Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had, on Monday, advised Nigerians to reconsider their travelling plan to the U.S.
Dabiri-Erewa said Nigerians, who had no compelling or urgent reason to travel to the US to postpone their travel plans until the new administration’s policy on immigration became clearer.
She said her office had, in the last few weeks, received a few cases of Nigerians with valid multiple-entry U.S. visas being denied entry and sent back home.
However, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, Foreign Affairs Minister’s reaction, on Tuesday, while fielding questions from newsmen in Abuja, corroborated the embassy’s claim.
Onyeama said no Nigerian with full valid entry visa had been denied entry to the US, adding that Nigerians were free to travel to US as the country was not on the ban list.
The minister said he was constantly in touch with the Nigerian Ambassador to the US and the US Ambassador to Nigeria, adding that there is no report on Nigerians being denied entry into the U.S.
He said: “I can tell you to ignore any call or advice to reconsider travelling to the US because there is no basis for that.” “We have absolutely no report whatsoever from the U.S. that people are being turned back from the U.S. or any of our consulate or any Nigerian that any of our people are being turned back,” he said.