The Federal Government has asked the United States of America to make the visa process easier for Nigerian travellers.
The U.S. government has implemented a series of policies over the past couple of years, especially under former President Donald Trump, that have unfavourably affected Nigerians.
During a signing ceremony with Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on Thursday, November 18, 2021, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, asked that the President Joe Biden administration ease those restrictions.
He especially requested that the indefinite suspension of the drop box mechanism be lifted.
The suspension meant Nigerians who wanted visa renewals had to make a physical visit to a consulate, eliminating an interview waiver privilege they used to enjoy.
The U.S. had said when it suspended the drop box mechanism in 2019 that it was to promote legitimate travel.
“We hope that the Secretary would also help to ease the visa challenges that Nigerians wishing to enter the U.S. have,” Onyeama said.
Blinken did not directly address the request in his remarks before the signing of a $2.1 billion Development Assistance Agreement.
But he described the partnership between Nigeria and the U.S. as ‘incredibly broad’ and ‘increasingly deep’.
“We welcome working in ever closer ways, because one of the things that we feel very strongly is that the big challenges all of our citizens face simply can’t be addressed by any one of us acting alone,” he said.
The U.S. official also met with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on his first physical visit to Nigeria.