Mohammed Babandede, Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), has said the country may make a corresponding decision to impose visa restriction on citizens of the United States of America and other countries.
Babandede said this in an interview while explaining the new visa policy launched earlier this year by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The US had in January announced that it would suspend the issuance of visas that can lead to permanent residency for nationals of Nigeria, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar.
The North American country, however, said citizens of the affected countries could apply for other visa categories.
While acknowledging that the US government has the preserve to determine who would enter its country, Babandede said the Nigerian government also had the same right and is contemplating taking similar action.
The Immigration boss said a test period for one year will be activated to determine which classes of Nigeria’s 79 visa will be made available to foreign nationals.
“I can tell you that US is a country, it is a nation like Nigeria. They have the right to restrict who will enter their territory or not just like we can restrict US citizen or whomsoever from entering Nigeria,” Babandede told Signature50 Magazine.
“So they have the right, but I want people to know that visa restriction is not a visa ban, it is a ban for people who want to take residency not people who want to go for short visits.
“You are aware that President Muhammadu Buhari just launched a new visa policy for Nigeria, the visa policy has 79 classes of visa. So, we will be in a position to say to countries, if you allow us for short visits we will allow you for short visits and if you stop us from other visits, we do the same, because the new visa policy is based on reciprocity.
“So, we will test this for a year and see those who reciprocate and we take actions for those who do otherwise.”
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