Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Abike Dabiri Launches Campaign Against Visa Ban In U.S

A team constituted by the Federal Government, yesterday, visited the state of Delaware, United States, to campaign against the recent immigrant visa restriction on Nigeria and to seek development cooperation.

The delegation led by the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, also has as member,  the chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Mrs. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe.

At separate meetings with top officials of Delaware State government, the Nigerian delegation expressed dismay with the immigrant visa restriction on Nigeria by President Donald Trump.

While in Delaware, the team  visited the Governor of the state, Mr John Carney; Mayor of the City of Wilmington, Mike Purzycki; President of the Wilmington City Council, Hanifa Shabazz and some lawmakers.

Dabiri-Erewa said Nigeria ought not to be on the list, citing the enormous contributions of its nationals to the development of the U.S. economy, a fact acknowledged by her hosts.

She rallied the support of the governor, the Wilmington mayor and council president, and the lawmakers for the ban to be lifted.

Trump had cited Nigeria’s alleged non-compliance with US information sharing and security protocols at airports as grounds for the ban  which came into effect on February 21.

The policy has suffered condemnation from a section of the U.S. media and politicians, including Joe Neguse Neguse, a Colorado Democratic federal lawmaker.

Dabiri-Erewa, the  NIDCOM CEO said that the information-sharing and security gaps cited by Trump were already being addressed, adding that Nigeria had started capturing the biometrics of passengers arriving in the country at points of entry.

Also speaking, Akande-Sadipe said NIDCOM in collaboration with the House Committee was out to change the bad narrative about Nigeria and build bridges of cooperation.

“Nigeria as a nation is not what people see on TV or what they have read on social media. Nigeria is a nation of progressive people who are there to add value,’’ she said.

In separate reactions, the Delaware officials welcomed the idea of economic cooperation and cultural exchange with Nigeria.

Picture:Jemimah Chuks

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