President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that his administration is making progress to reverse the United States suspension of the issuance of “immigrant visas” to Nigerian passport holders.
Buhari said this while receiving the report of the committee on Citizen Data Management and Harmonization chaired by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, in Abuja.
The committee had been set up in February 2020 to address issues that led to the U.S temporary visa restrictions on Nigerian passport holders.
‘‘I also note the progress made by Nigeria towards the removal of the visa restrictions as two out of the six areas of concern raised by the United States had been fully addressed, two are substantially satisfied while some progress is being made on the remaining two.
‘‘I am delighted that this progress, especially the uploading of Lost and Stolen Passport and Travel Documents has been acknowledged by the United States Government.
‘‘In consideration of the fact that the concerns raised cast doubts on the credibility of the nation’s citizen identity data management system, the scope of the Committee’s assignment was expanded to include strategies to harmonize the various citizen identity data held by different Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
‘‘I have gone through the highlights of the Report and must commend the Chairman and members of the Committee for painstakingly carrying out the assignment in spite of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘‘The recommendations as highlighted are capable of addressing the concerns raised by the US Government as well as lead to the development of a reliable national citizen identity data management system.’’ he said.