Russell Brooks, spokesman of the US embassy in Nigeria, is not ruling out the possibility of his country revoking the visas of corrupt Nigerians.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to TheCable on Wednesday, Brooks said there are rules and regulations on visa revocation which are applied on individual basis. He said: “I won’t predict what the United States will do in terms of visa.
“I will say that, yes there are laws and regulations for people who are found guilty or that are credibly accused of corruption. But I won’t predict what will occur to any particular individual, we have to allow those things to play out because visas are granted or taken away based on individual circumstances.” He also challenged Nigerians to be transparent and hold public officials to account. “Corruption is a major issue here in Nigeria and the United States recognises that,” he said.
“U.S is doing what it can to help strengthen institutions in Nigeria that are involved in anti-corruption fight. We encourage Nigerians to be transparent and hold officials accountable. I will also say that we are doing a lot of work to strengthen the capacity of the law enforcement community in Nigeria. We are working with judicial bodies to strengthen their ability to also help in the anti-corruption fight.
So, if you look at it as a whole, we believe that the key is to have strong institutions. Institutions that will hold officials and personalities accountable for their actions and that will be deserving of the support and confidence of the public at large.”
He also spoke on the willingness of President Donald Trump to assist Nigeria in the fight against insurgency.
“The United States president has indicated the willingness to be of assistance to Nigeria, to provide additional material support, but in terms of specifics or weapon sale, that requires the consent of our congress, and no reporting so far has indicated that congressional notification has been made,” he said.
“So, I would strongly recommend to everyone not to get ahead of themselves, but US policy has been that we’re providing advice, providing assistance, we are providing logistical aid. We provide intelligence support to Nigeria, we have done that and we will continue to do that.”
“The Trump administration has been very clear on its standpoint to fight terrorism and extremism across the world, and Nigeria is the front in that fight against terrorism and certainly United States wants to be helpful to the Nigerian government in its fight against terrorism.”
Simon Kolawole, TheCable CEO, thanked the team for the visit.
He also spoke on the mandate of the newspaper, which is to deliver knowledge-driven journalism in the pursuit of Nigeria’s progress.