Nigeria creates committee to tackle issues that led to U.S. visa ban: presidency

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A Nigerian flag is seen outside Nigeria Trade Office after Nigerian request to Taiwan to relocate its representative office in the African country, in Taipei, Taiwan January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

LAGOS (Reuters) – The Nigerian government has created a committee to address the issues that led to a suspension of U.S. immigrant visas to its citizens, the president’s office said on Saturday.

Nigeria was among six countries, four of them in Africa, added to a visa ban announced on Friday in a presidential proclamation.

U.S. officials said the countries failed to meet U.S. security and information-sharing standards, which necessitated the new restrictions.

“Nigeria remains committed to maintaining productive relations with the United States and other international allies especially on matters of global security,” the statement said.

Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, is the biggest country on the list whose citizens will be suspended from U.S. visas that can lead to permanent residency. The list also includes Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar.

Graphic: Immigrant Visas Issued FY 2018 – here

The U.S. government also said it will stop issuing “diversity visas” to nationals of Sudan and Tanzania.

Nigeria’s information minister told Reuters they had no warning of their inclusion on the list before it appeared in the media.

Reporting by Libby George in Lagos and Felix Onuah in Abuja; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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