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Facts, figures that forced US to restrict Nigeria from Immigrant Visas

Even as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami are currently in the United States of America to sign some documents pertaining to getting another set of ‘Gen Sani Abacha Loot’, there are indications that his team may also approach the US Immigration Department on why it parked Nigeria, African giant together with nations like Eritrea, war-torn Sudan and other three nations in the immigration restriction.

However, whereas many Nigerians are disturbed that the US took the decision based on insecurity factors, some analysts have given insights on the development.

According to Princewill Odidi, he said the immigration restriction has little or nothing to do with Boko Haram, has nothing to do with Buhari, has nothing to do with arrest and detention of journalist, has nothing to do with Nigeria’s ban on gays and lesbian, but has everything to do with absence of a workable system in our identification and verification processes.

According to him, “The main reason Nigeria is suspended from Immigrant visas category is because Nigeria does not have a credible background investigation system that groups like Interpol can rely on to vet and certify originality.

“What that means is that if someone commits a crime in Lagos and relocates to Kano, there’s no system that can be used to track crimes and people across state lines.

“Virtually all African countries have such systems even Ghana has it, Cameroon everyone has original birth certificates but Nigeria prefers to have multiple identity cards not because they are interested in monitoring and tracking people but because they want to make money. Our country is a transaction society; you can buy anything even the human conscience.

“Most responsible modern states in the world have tracking systems, but Nigeria does not. A typical example, if you are about 40 years, if you go to your primary school to get your records they don’t have it. Principals and headmasters do not have computers in the 21st century.

“Now, back to US suspension, let me make it clear that only Immigrants visas are affected. Non immigrant visas are not affected. An immigrant visas is a type of visa that allows you to stay, work or even become a US citizen after you travel.

“This category involves the type of visa you get when you marry an American citizen and have to relocate or the type of visas given to parents when their American citizens file for them or the visa you get through lottery.

“Another category of visa affected is birth visas, these are medical tourism visas to come to America and have a baby. It is those categories of visas that are affected. Some waivers do apply. However, non immigrant visas like visitors or business visas are not affected, however going forward it will be difficult to get

“Otherwise, what America is saying is that we cannot continue to give immigrant visas to your people if our investigators have no tools to work with to verify the true identity of your immigrant populations,” Ogidi averred.

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