Nigeria advises US against Visa travel ban 

Solon Chung, London 

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The Nigerian government has advised the United States of America against the proposed travel ban to be placed on the country.

It says such decision will be thoroughly unfair and will also hit economic activities as well as growth in all ramifications in the country.

Speaking in an interview on Monday in London during an international media tour,Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture Mr.Lai Mohammed said the US must be careful not to listen to negative commentaries and narratives from those that are bent on painting the Nigerian government  negatively.

Fight Against Terrorism
Speaking on security in the country, the Minister stated that in spite of inherent challenges,the present administration has done a lot in curbing the menacing boko haram terrorists in Nigeria

He affirmed that the fight against terrorism must be viewed from both political,economic, military as well as sociological perspectives,and that the summary analysis was that the government has performed creditably.

In citing some examples, he said none of the country’s territory is being occupied by the terrorists,also all the economic hubs in the north east are doing their businesses and also people are travelling from one point to the other.

Emphasising on the purported plan by the US to add Nigeria to its existing list of visa travel ban countries,the minister did not mince words when  he described the decision as ill conceived.

“Though the visa travel ban report is at the moment speculative, but if it turns out to be true, the Nigerian government would respond comprehensively..

“However,as a government,our position is that it is still speculative because we are yet to be officially communicated.

“In our view, the decision if true, it was not a well-thought-out but based largely on negative narratives spread  by naysayers and enemies of the government,” he said.

Working with Neighboring Countries
The Minister said Nigeria was working very well with other neighboring countries to ensure that terrorism was addressed.

He said they are also working with the international community including the  EU and the US and tackle the challenges.

“Our advise to the US is that they should have rethink on the issue because any travel ban is bound to affect investment and growth in the country and those who will be affected are the most vulnerable people in Nigeria,” he stated.

Border Closure
Speaking on border closure, Mr Mohammed said Nigeria took the decision because the neighbouring countries notably, Benin Republic and Niger Republic have consistently violated the ECOWAS Treaty on Transit of Goods.

“Not only that they are sabotaging the economy of the country, but the security of the nation was been threatened.

Under the  guise of smuggling rice, a lot of small arms and light weapons are being smuggled into the country,” he said.

So far, the countries border drill exercise has been positive and successful in terms of revenue, securing the nation and  boosting the capacity of the farmers,” he explained.

On the date to end the closure, he said the government was waiting for the outcome and recommendations of the committee that was set up to look into the issue.

The Minister  said the fight against insurgency in the region can not solely be measured from the military point of view.

He submitted that the fight against Insecurity had been largely successful in the area of economy political and social activities.

 

Confidence  Okwuchi