ABUJA resident Joseph Abba wished to honeymoon with his wife in the United States after their wedding in 2018.
He readied their documents and applied for a visa but says his visa was denied, even though he met the basic requirements.
‘As an applicant, the pain of being refused, even when you know you’re qualified, is something else,’ Abba said. ‘Having known the already concluded decisions even before going for the interview, it’s a discouragement on the applicant.’
Nigeria was one of several African nations included in the travel bans imposed by former US president Donald Trump. As a result, travel between Nigeria and the US became almost impossible.
The Trump administration said the restrictions were imposed because of terrorism concerns, saying the countries on the list did not meet minimum security standards.
But critics like Abba doubt security issues were the real reason.
Trump was highly criticised in his early days in office for derogatory comments about Africa countries.
‘Nigeria is not the only country in the world that is having insecurity as a problem. Insecurity is just like the pandemic, it’s a global problem,’ Abba said.
On his first day in office, Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, signed 17 executive orders, including one that overturned the travel restrictions.
Nigerian business owners like Taiwo Charles, who runs a travel agency in Abuja, welcomed the move.
‘It’s a big relief for entrepreneurs like me, especially in the travel industry, who can now begin to see so many opportunities coming up and then begin to enjoy the benefits of influx between Nigeria and America,’ Charles said.
With travel made easier once again, Nigerians like Abba said they will begin to visit the United States again, and travel companies are expecting to see a rise in revenue.
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