US Department of Homeland Security says, Nigeria does not comply with the established identity-management and information-sharing criteria assessed by the performance metrics.
The travel ban placed on Nigeria by the Donald Trump administration is due to President Muhammadu Buhari’s lifeless approach to all things security related in Nigeria.
The ineptitude, incompetence and corruption of the Nigerian government, its security agencies and specifically the Nigerian Immigration Service has led the American government to take a stringent measure aimed at protecting its citizens from harm.
According to the US Department of Homeland Security, the restriction placed on Nigeria is as a result of the country’s failure to pass a performance review conducted by the USA on how it processes travel-related risks. The travel ban on Nigerian and five other countries is not as severe as the restrictions President Trump placed on Iran and six other Muslim majority countries in 2017.
Homeland Security also noted that it is possible for countries like Nigeria to overcome its failures within a short period of time, should the Nigerian government be so inclined. And once the country comes into compliance, the restriction will accordingly be removed by the US President.
The statement from U.S. Homeland Security reads in part, “The new restrictions imposed by the President are less restrictive than the existing restrictions. Like the seven countries that continue to face travel restrictions pursuant to Proclamation 9645, the six additional countries added for restrictions are among the worst performing in the world; however, there are prospects for near-term improvement for these six countries. Each has a functioning government and each maintains productive relations with the United States. In each case and consistent with those restrictions imposed in 2017, the President has imposed specific travel restrictions to mitigate the risks posed. The restrictions imposed by this proclamation reflect the U.S. government’s greater confidence that these countries can make meaningful improvements in a reasonable period of time.
If that expectation is met, the President may remove travel restrictions at any time. Conversely, the President has also determined that if improvements are not made, additional restrictions may be added. Those travelers who have already been issued visas by the U.S. government will not be affected by the new restrictions.
NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE
According to the US DHS, it has a process by which it measures the performance of foreign countries. Ghana, Kenya and other African nations are in compliance. But Nigeria, the biggest economic powerhouse in Africa, cannot keep simple tabs on who is a Nigerian and where is his or her passport. This is the security failing that America will not tolerate from any country in an era where global security risks and threats are commonplace.
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About the process, DHS stated, “Pursuant to Executive Order 13780, DHS established identity-management, information sharing, national security, and public safety risk criteria all foreign governments are expected to adhere to in order to facilitate accurate and fair admissibility decisions under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
In its most recent review, DHS, in consultation with other departments and agencies, updated the methodology by which it reviews a foreign government’s performance. The update included refining and modifying specific performance metrics for each criteria, collecting additional data on foreign practices, and weighting criteria based on their degree of significance to U.S. national security. For example, DHS now considers whether a foreign government reports lost and stolen passports at least every 30 days, instead of considering whether they have ever shared such information. By reporting regularly, DHS officers can determine passport validity with higher confidence.
These changes give DHS a more detailed picture of a country’s compliance with the individual criteria and to hold them accountable for regular cooperation. In doing so, the updated methodology helps guide U.S. government discussions with foreign governments. Since implementing these measures, the Administration has recorded improvements in identity management and information sharing with multiple foreign governments, and because of this Administration’s actions, our international partners have raised their own baseline requirements.”
Nigeria certainly needs to step up its attitude towards security issues. The Federal Government’s failure at securing lives and property of actual Nigerians all over the country is abysmal and even the regions have begun setting up their own security architecture. Recently President Buhari called on foreign nationals all over Africa, including those who may be from terrorism hotbeds to travel to Nigeria and receive their visa upon arrival. Such individuals can also go to Oluwole and receive doctored identities with which to obtain foreign passports.
The solution is technology and a proper indentity managemtn system, also capable hands should be employed at the head of key agencies like the NIS. The cronyism and nepotism employed by this administration will be the death of Nigeria and her reputation.
Our foreign affairs minister is in Washington D.C this week for a key Africa US strategy summit, they should be heading to that summit with evidence of compliance to the system the USA has put in place. And this mysterious widespread adoption of herdsmen from all over Africa to Nigeria must stop.