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US Hikes Visa Fees for Nigerians, Blames FG

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United States Embassy in Nigeria, has said that effective from tomorrow, Thursday, August 29, Nigerians applying for tourism, student and business visas will not only pay the N59, 200 fee but will have to pay an extra $110 (N40, 700) after the visa has been issued to them bringing the total cost to N99, 900.

 

However, applicants who are denied visas would not need to pay the extra N40, 700.

 

Applicants seeking the L1 Visa (work permit) will pay an extra N112, 100 if given visas while those applying for H4 Visa (dependency/spousal) will pay an extra N66, 600.

 

The US Embassy adopts the rate of N370/$1 for Nigerians which is higher than both the official rate and the black market rate.

 

The increment also comes amid complaints from hundreds of Nigerian visa applicants that they had not been able to secure US visa appointment dates despite making payments for visas.

 

The embassy said in a statement that the increment was done based on reciprocity.

 

It lamented that Americans were paying too much to secure Nigerian visas and thus the US government decided to retaliate.

 

The US embassy said it had been holding talks with the Nigerian government to reduce the fee but the Federal Government refused to accede to its requests.

 

The directive comes less than four months after the US cancelled the drop box system for Nigerian visa applicants which used to allow Nigerians who have a travel history to the US to apply for visas without going for interviews at the embassy.

 

The statement read in part, “Effective worldwide on August 29, Nigerian citizens will be required to pay a visa issuance fee, or reciprocity fee, for all approved applications for non-immigrant visas in B, F, H1B, I, L, and R visa classifications.

 

“The reciprocity fee will be charged in addition to the non-immigrant visa application fee, also known as the MRV fee, which all applicants pay at the time of application.  Nigerian citizens whose applications for a non-immigrant visa are denied will not be charged the new reciprocity fee. Both reciprocity and MRV fees are non-refundable, and their amounts vary based on visa classification.

Reciprocity fee schedule, organized by visa classification

“US law requires US visa fees and validity periods to be based on the treatment afforded to US citizens by foreign governments, insofar as possible.  Visa issuance fees are implemented under the principle of reciprocity: when a foreign government imposes additional visa fees on US citizens, the United States will impose reciprocal fees on citizens of that country for similar types of visas.

 

“Nationals of a number of countries worldwide are currently required to pay this type of fee after their non-immigrant visa application is approved.

 

“The total cost for a US citizen to obtain a visa to Nigeria is currently higher than the total cost for a Nigerian to obtain a comparable visa to the United States.  The new reciprocity fee for Nigerian citizens is meant to eliminate that cost difference.

 

“Since early 2018, the US government has engaged the Nigerian government to request that the Nigerian government change the fees charged to US citizens for certain visa categories.  After 18 months of review and consultations, the government of Nigeria has not changed its fee structure for U.S. citizen visa applicants, requiring the US Department of State to enact new reciprocity fees in accordance with our visa laws.

 

“The reciprocity fee will be required for all Nigerian citizens worldwide, regardless of where they are applying for a non-immigrant visa to the United States.  The reciprocity fee is required for each visa that is issued, which means both adults and minors whose visa applications are approved will be charged the reciprocity fee.  The fee can only be paid at the US Embassy or the US Consulate General.  The reciprocity fee cannot be paid at banks or any other location.”

 

 

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Mo Ibrahim Foundation to Launch First ‘African Governance Report’ in 2019

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The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has announced the launch of the first comprehensive “African Governance Report”. The report will be published online at the foundation’s website, mo.ibrahim.foundation on 15 October 2019.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established in 2006 with a focus on the critical importance of leadership and governance in Africa, by providing tools to assess and support progress in leadership and governance.

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) provides an annual assessment of the quality of governance in African countries and is the most comprehensive collection of data on African governance.

With over ten years of data to draw from, the IIAG is uniquely positioned to measure trends in governance, providing an in-depth analysis of how the quality of governance has changed, and what has or could be key to Africa’s transformation.

Based on IIAG data, the report will focus on Governance and Africa’s implementation of the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will highlight the importance of using data to analyse the growing governance challenges and opportunities that must be addressed to drive sustainable development in Africa.

In this report, the Foundation will highlight gaps in the availability of sound data to track and measure progress. It will issue a call for national and international players to work together to urgently address these gaps, which will be critical to encouraging and directing development progress across the continent.

The African Governance Report will: 1)  Examine the governance environments needed to achieve progress towards Agenda 2063 and the SDGs and the links between these, highlighting common areas and major challenges

2)  Identify progress in these areas and data gaps, both in terms of national statistical offices but also vital statistics and civil registration

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FG Directs NCC, NIPOST, NIGCOMSAT to Get ISO Certifications

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Isa Pantanmi, minister of communications

Federal government has directed three agencies under the Ministry of Communications to begin the process of getting International Standard Organisation (ISO) certification.

 

Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, minister of Communications, gave the directive at the presentation of ISO 2700: 2013 to the National Information and Technology Agency (NITDA) in Abuja.

 

ISO certification is proof from a third party, that an organisation complies with an ISO management standard. ISO certification gives organisation credibility.

 

Pantami said getting a truly deserved certification would stand the agencies out and would get them recognition globally.

 

He said the agencies under his ministry should stop the old ways of doing things and start taking their mandates to the next level. He said the heads of the agencies should make their staff understand that they could lose their jobs if they perform below standard.

 

‘’ISO certification changes the perception of staff of any agency that has received it. I saw this myself when I was in NITDA and it has been testified to by many people. I believe these is no single staff of NITDA that this certification has not changed significantly’’, he added.

 

He said it was gladdening that more companies and public institutions in Africa were getting ISO certifications.

 

Earlier, Dr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general of NITDA, said the agency went through a rigorous process to get the ISO certification.

 

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2baba Unveils Winners of Tboiz Talent Search

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2Baba has finally unveiled Tboiz – a 3 member boy band to perform at the 20 Years A King Concerts organised to commemorate 2 decades in the music industry as a performer.

 

This announcement was made at the media event held on September 18, 2019 in honour of the 20 Years A King projects.

 

The members of Tboiz — Okhiria Daabo Ayodele, Oche Peter and Osaentin Joseph Jonathan were announced as victors of the Next Up talent search which ran from 30th August, 2019 to 9th September, 2019.

 

Asides the vocalists, Apatira Taiwo Olaseni was also announced winner of the Next Up video director search.

 

Next Up Talent Search was adjudged by 2Baba, songwriter and producer Cobhams Asuquo and video director Unlimited L.A, whilst final winners were selected through an online voting process

 

During his speech at the 20 Years A King media day, 2Baba had this to say about Next Up:

 

“Next Up is a legacy project. This platform will give these four young kings an opportunity to kick start their careers.

 

“Today, they will be performing at the Industry night special and soon, we will be recording a song together.

“The plan here is to make their voices heard and I am indeed proud to be a part of this project.”

 

2Baba continues his week of celebration as he marks his 44th birthday alongside ongoing #20YearsAKing activities.

 

Other activities lined up for the 2Baba week include the Campaign for Peace and Good Governance, a Radio Takeover & Industry Nite Special, as well as the Abuja House Party with Campari, and 2Baba week finale at Rumors Night Club, Festac.

 

20 Years A King is a celebration of 20 years since 2Baba scored his first hit single ‘Knock Me Off’ as a member of the now-defunct Plantashun Boiz in 1999. Activities, projects and events for the year include a book, a documentary, an album, merchandise, fete, concerts, and parties.

 

 

 

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