Drop Box Suspension: Ex-Perm Sec, diplomat say no implication on U.S-Nigeria relations

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Abuja – A retired Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Olukunle Bamgbose, says the indefinite suspension of the “Drop Box” policy by U.S. will not have any implication on Nigeria-U.S relations.

Bambgose said this in an interview  on Wednesday in Abuja.

Visa

The U.S. Mission to Nigeria on Tuesday, announced indefinite suspension of interview waivers for Visa renewals otherwise known as “Drop Box” process.

”Visa applications will no longer be accepted by DHL in Nigeria. All applicants in Nigeria seeking a non-immigrant visa to the United States must apply online.

“Applicants will be required to appear in person at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or U.S. Consulate General in Lagos to submit their applications for review.

“Applicants must appear at the location they specified when applying for the visa renewal,” the mission stated.

Bamgbose said: “I don’t think it has any major implications on the existing cordial and warm relations between our two countries.

“It’s possible that the suspension of the drop box policy could also have been triggered by some inappropriate actions of some Nigerians applying for visas through this door.

“By and large, every country is at liberty to change its visa administration and policy, taking into consideration its national interest.

“In any case, I don’t see the suspension of the drop box process affecting the issuance of appropriate visas to qualified Nigerians in any negative way.

“This is particularly so if the mission has the human capacity to cope with the number of visa applications.”

On his part, Amb. Dapo Fafowora, a former Deputy Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, also said that there was no major or serious implication on the step taken by the U.S.

Fafowora said that U.S. had the right to review its visa policy any time and that the decision could be a way of scrutinizing travellers from Nigeria to the U.S.

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He, however, said that applicants should not be discouraged to go to the embassy to appear in person for visa renewal

“People should be willing to go to the embassy to apply for visa; anybody willing to get U.S visa should be ready to go to the embassy for interview,” he said. (NAN)

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