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Trump’s Travel Policy: Nigerians With Valid Visas Denied Entry Into USA

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House
  • Trump’s Travel Policy: Nigerians With Valid Visas Denied Entry Into USA

The Federal Government has advised Nigerians against visiting the United States of America at the moment except for crucial matters as a result of the lack of clarity in the country’s new immigration rules.

The advisory was sequel to the barring of some Nigerians, with valid US visas, from entering the US in recent weeks.

“At least, four Nigerians with valid visas were denied entry to the US within the last two weeks and sent back to the country on the next available flights,” the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Matters, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

In a statement on Monday, Dabiri-Erewa advised Nigerians without any compelling or essential reasons to visit the US to consider delaying their trip “until there is clarity in the new immigration policy.”

She added, “In the last few weeks, the office has received a few cases of Nigerians with valid multiple-entry US visas, being denied entry and sent back to Nigeria.

“In such cases reported to the office, the affected persons were sent back immediately on the next available flights and their visas were cancelled.”

She reminded Nigerians in the Diaspora to abide by the rules and regulations of their host countries and be good ambassadors of the country.

Francis Adekola, who was affected by the immigration restriction, explained that he was prevented from attending a friend’s wedding in Mississippi on February 15, 2017.

Narrating his bitter experience, Adekola said he was detained for over 10 hours before he was placed on aircraft and returned to Abuja via Johannesburg.

He said, “I travelled to the US on February 15, but when we got to the Atlanta airport, where I was to connect another flight, I was asked to step aside at the check-in counter by an armed border protection officer.

“He walked me to the luggage section and searched my wallet and bag. He also collected my telephone (set) and went through the contents: SMSes, pictures, WhatsApp chats, everything.”

Adekola, who recently finished his Ph.D at a Canadian university, said he was informed by the immigration agent that he did not have strong ties in Nigeria and that he might not go back home if allowed into the US.

Though he was allowed to speak to someone in the US, he stated that he was still prevented from entering America.

Adekola added that his mobile was not returned to him until he got to Johannesburg.

“My documents were not released to me until the plane was airborne on its way to Abuja even though my home was in Lagos,” he said.

He explained that he saw some nationals of other countries, who were also denied entry to the US, noting that the wasted trip cost him over N1m in airfare.

The US embassy could not be reached for comment as it had yet to respond to an email, sent to it, seeking its reaction to the barring of Nigerians.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also unavailable for comment.

Its spokesman, Clement Aduku, did not return calls to his mobile and had yet to respond to an SMS as of the time of filing this report on Monday.

Trump signs new executive order

The US President, Donald Trump signed an executive order on January 27, 2017, barring people from seven, Muslim-majority countries from travelling to the US for 90 days.

It also stopped all refugees for 120 days and Syrian refugees permanently.

The ban caused global outrage as well as chaos across the US before it was frozen by a legal ruling.

The US Mission to Nigeria had earlier assured Nigerians that the executive order on immigration would not affect Nigerians, noting that visa applicants would continue to get two-year multiple entry visas as before.

It also said the order would not affect the validity of visas held by Nigerians, noting that its visa policy to Nigeria had not changed.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, and the US Consular Chief, Meghan Moore, had explained to journalists on February 3, 2017 that the US visa policy was based on reciprocity, stressing that Nigerians would not be discriminated against.

Trump signs new travel ban, exempts Iraq

Meanwhile, Trump signed a new executive order on Monday barring immigration from six Muslim-majority countries, dropping Iraq from the January’s previous order, and reinstating a temporary blanket ban on all refugees.

It removed language in the original order that indefinitely banned Syrian refugees and called for prioritising the admission of refugees, who are religious minorities in their home countries.

That provision drew criticism of a religious test for entry and would have prioritised Christians over Muslims fleeing war-torn countries in the Middle East.

The new ban, which takes effect on March 16, also explicitly exempts citizens of the six banned countries, who are legal US permanent residents or have valid visas to enter the US – including those whose visas were revoked during the original implementation of the ban, senior administration officials said.

“We cannot compromise our nation’s security by allowing visitors entry when their own governments are unable or unwilling to provide the information we need to vet them responsibly or when those governments actively support terrorism,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Monday.

The new measures will block citizens of Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from obtaining visas for at least 90 days.

The order also suspends admission of refugees into the US for 120 days, directing US officials to improve vetting measures for a programme that is already widely regarded as extremely stringent.

Trump signed the executive order in the Oval Office outside the view of reporters and news cameras, after more than three weeks of repeated delays, the latest of which came after White House officials decided last week to delay the signing to avoid cutting into positive coverage of Trump’s joint address to Congress.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Ekiti Governor Unveils Multi-Billion Naira Relief Programmes Amid Economic Crisis

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Biodun Oyebanji

Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, has announced a comprehensive relief package aimed at alleviating the hardship faced by the people of the state.

The relief programs encompass various sectors to cushion the impact of the economic downturn.

One of the key initiatives entails clearing salary arrears amounting to over N2.7 billion owed to both State and Local Government workers.

This move signifies the government’s commitment to addressing the financial burdens faced by its workforce.

Furthermore, Governor Oyebanji has approved a substantial increase of N600 million per month in the subvention of autonomous institutions, including the Judiciary and tertiary institutions.

This augmentation is intended to enable these institutions to implement wage awards in alignment with State and Local Government workers’ salaries.

In addition to addressing salary arrears, the relief programs extend to pensioners, with the approval of payments totaling N1.5 billion for two months’ pension arrears.

Moreover, an increase in the monthly gratuity payment to state pensioners and local government pensioners will provide additional financial support, totaling N200 million monthly.

The relief initiatives also encompass agricultural and small-scale business sectors.

The allocation of funds for food production and livestock transformation projects underscores the government’s commitment to enhancing food security and economic sustainability at the grassroots level.

Governor Oyebanji emphasized that these relief programs are part of the state’s concerted efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of the economic downturn and foster shared prosperity.

The comprehensive nature of the initiatives reflects a proactive approach towards addressing the challenges faced by Ekiti State residents.

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President Tinubu Orders Immediate Settlement of N342m Electricity Bill for Presidential Villa

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power project

President Bola Tinubu has directed the prompt settlement of a N342 million outstanding electricity bill owed by the Presidential Villa to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).

This move comes in response to the reconciliation of accounts between the State House Management and the AEDC.

The AEDC had earlier threatened to disconnect electricity services to the Presidential Villa and 86 Federal Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) over a total outstanding debt of N47.20 billion as of December 2023.

Contrary to the initial claim by the AEDC that the State House owed N923 million in electricity bills, the Presidency clarified that the actual outstanding amount is N342.35 million.

This discrepancy underscores the importance of accurate accounting and reconciliation between entities.

In a statement signed by President Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, the Presidency affirmed the commitment to settle the debt promptly.

Chief of Staff Femi Gbajabiamila assured that the debt would be paid to the AEDC before the end of the week.

The directive from the Presidency extends beyond the State House, as Gbajabiamila urged other MDAs to reconcile their accounts with the AEDC and settle their outstanding electricity bills.

The AEDC, on its part, issued a 10-day notice to the affected government agencies to settle their debts or face disconnection.

This development highlights the importance of financial accountability and responsible management of public utilities.

It also underscores the necessity for government entities to fulfill their financial obligations to service providers promptly, ensuring uninterrupted services and avoiding potential disruptions.

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Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Issues Ultimatum to 86 Government Agencies Over N47bn Debt

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Power - Investors King

The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has issued an ultimatum to 86 government agencies, including the Presidential Villa, owing a collective debt of N47 billion.

The notice comes as a response to the prolonged failure of these agencies to settle their outstanding electricity bills.

According to the public notice released by the AEDC management, some of the highest debts are attributed to prominent entities such as the National Security Adviser (owing N95.9 billion), the Chief of Defence staff barracks, and military formations (indebted to the tune of N12 billion).

Also, several ministries, including the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory and the Ministry of Power, have sizable outstanding bills.

The AEDC has expressed its frustration over the inability of these government bodies to honor their financial obligations despite previous attempts to facilitate payment.

In response, the company has warned of imminent disconnection of services if the outstanding debts are not settled within 10 days of the notice.

The outstanding debts are attributed to various factors including the devaluation of the naira, cash scarcity resulting from demonetization programs, high inflation rates, removal of fuel subsidies, and foreign exchange challenges.

These financial burdens have adversely impacted the operations of the AEDC, contributing to a loss of N99 million in foreign exchange alone.

As the deadline for payment approaches, government agencies are under pressure to address their outstanding debts to avoid service disruptions.

The AEDC remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring that all entities fulfill their financial obligations, underscoring the importance of prompt payment for uninterrupted electricity services.

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