The relationship between Nigeria and the United States of America can be said to be as old as the country.
United States of America and Nigeria are known to be close to the extent that the two countries have bilateral relationships that have been beneficial to the two nations over the years and so it is more beneficial for the two countries to be friends than to be enemies.
While the US dictates the pace in America and in the entire world, Nigeria is a powerful country in Africa, in black nations and its the most populous black country in the world.
So, the latest reports indicating that President Donald Trump of the United States of America planned to impose travel ban on the country got to many people as a big surprise.
Reports had it that Donald Trump planned to add Nigeria and six other countries to his travel ban – which could extend to more non-Muslim-majority nations.
Currently, travel is banned from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen – all but one of them Muslim-majority.
Trump’s administration is considering adding Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania.
Nigeria is majority Muslim, but by a slim margin, Tanzania is majority Christian while Belarus is overwhelmingly Christian, Myanmar is majority Buddhist and Muslims from the Rohingya minority have been persecuted in the country
Countries being considered are said to have failed to meet State Department standards on biometrics, information-sharing and counter-terrorism measures
The move is likely to sour ties between the United States and the countries affected under the expanded ban.
Nigeria, for example, Africa’s largest economy and most populous country, is a U.S. anti-terrorism partner and has a large diaspora residing in the United States.
A senior Trump administration official said that countries that failed to comply with security requirements, including biometrics, information-sharing and counter-terrorism measures, faced the risk of limitations on U.S. immigration.
It should be noted that 158,180 American citizens are living in Nigeria; 15,180 in Abuja and 143,077 in Lagos.
Millions of Nigerians are reported to be living in the over 50 states of the United States of America, where they are earning their living.
Non immigrant visa in Nigeria was 102,000 adjudications in Abuja and 258,167 adjudications in Lagos, while immigrant visa was 11,152 adjudications.
United States of America’s bilateral goods trade with Nigeria totaled $8.3 Billion in 2018. Goods exports to Nigeria were $2.7 billion, and goods imports from Nigeria were $5.6 billion in the same year.
US assistance in Nigeria for 2019 include the following:
PEPFAR- HIV/AIDS (with CDC, USAID, DoD) $310.74 Million
USAID Humanitarian Assistance $308.9 Million
Military Security Assistance-$133.00 Million
Economic Growth $48.0 Million
Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) -$39.72 Million
Democracy, Human Rights and Governance- $31.00 Million
Education- $25.0 Million
CDC (Immunisation Division and Health Protection) $18.6 Million
Public Affairs -$8.01 Million
Law Enforcement (INL, LEGAT, RSO) -$6.58 Million
Peace and Security (OTI)- $4.58 Million
It is on record that Nigeria is the second largest US goods trading partner in Africa.
Discerning minds believe that the Nigerian government must give it all it takes to ensure that the United States of America does not tamper with its relationship with the country as the two would fare better if they continue to remain as friends.