Despite govt shutdown, consular services continue in Lagos, Abuja – U.S. Embassy

US Embassy, Abuja
US Embassy, Abuja

The United States Embassy in Nigeria said its consular section in Abuja and the Consulate General office in Lagos would remain open for Visa applicants, despite a government shutdown.

A statement published on the U.S. embassy Facebook page on Tuesday said the shutdown order only affects offices “that are managed by the Mission Public Affairs Sections”.

It urged visa applicants to ”please attend regularly scheduled interviews”.

The statement also noted that the shutdown only affected its operating partner institutions located “off embassy and others”.

”The U.S. Embassy in Abuja and the Consulate General in Lagos will remain open during the U.S. government shutdown. This includes the Consular Sections. Prior reports to the contrary were incorrect.

”American Centers and EducationUSA offices operating on embassy and consulate grounds that are managed by Mission Public Affairs Sections will remain closed throughout the shutdown.
“American Spaces, such as American Corners operated by partner institutions and located off embassy or consulate grounds, however, will remain open.”

On Monday the US Embassy had announced it was temporarily closing its consular section in Lagos and Abuja in the midst of a government shutdown.

The development comes amidst the refusal of the U.S. government led by President Donald Trump to back down on his demand to build an all-concrete wall along the Mexican border.

The building of the wall was one of the high points of Mr Trump’s presidential campaign promises in 2015.

The US President had vowed that not only would he build a “big, beautiful wall” along the U.S. southern border, “Mexico would pay for it”.

But when the Mexican government refused to fund the wall, Mr Trump approached the US Congress and demanded $5 billion to construct the wall, a request the Congress has rebuffed.

On December 11, President Trump held a meeting at the White House with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer over the U.S.-Mexico border wall funding.

Following the refusal of Democrats to fund the wall, Mr Trump declared a shutdown of the government.

“I am proud to shut down the government for border security,” he had said.

Mr Trump noted that the shutdown “would not take effect on Secret Service agents, the Customs, Border Patrol agents and U.S. troops deployed at the border.”.

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