Hakeem Balogun, the Chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Nigeria in Washington, says different reasons are responsible for the extreme vetting Nigerians face during entry into the US.
Mr. Balogun, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Washington, added that the President Donald Trump’s travel ban did not affect Nigerians.
“The executive ban on immigration does not affect Nigerians. Whatever must have taken place regarding visa issuance, vetting at the airports, it’s all normal.
“All these things have been on even before President Trump. Let’s get one thing well. That you are issued visa is not a guarantee that you will end up wherever you’re going.
“It’s a global thing; it’s not just United States. Even with us in Nigeria, we issue a visa to you here in the Nigerian Embassy.
“There is no guarantee that you will get in when you get to Murtala Muhammed Airport or when you get to Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.
“The final authority is the man at the point of entry – immigration officers there. For instance, you can come to the Embassy here, we ask for all the things you need to get the visa.
“How much do you have that we feel will be enough for you to stay in Nigeria for the period you’re going.
“May be as at that time, you were able to show us evidence that you have a thousand dollars which we feel will be enough for you to stay in Nigeria.
“By the time you get to Murtala Muhammed Airport, the man at that end there asked you, all you have to show to him is 100 dollars, definitely, he might turn you back, and that’s normal.
Mr. Balogun also said Nigerians are restricted from entering the U.S. because they failed to meet other required procedures.
“Then there are other things. What manner of visa did you collect to come to the United States?
“For instance, a pregnant woman who comes to the United States on visiting visa will probably be turned back at the point of entry because she does not have a medical visa.
“You are coming in on a visiting visa and the immigration man sees you pregnant. Naturally, he will turn you back.
“Even if you have the medical visa, they want to know if you have medical insurance; do you have your medical documents for you to be able to come and use their medical facilities here.
“So these are issues. Nigeria is not being singled out. We are not one of those countries that have been mentioned. We are definitely not one of them.”