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The United States government has announced the lifting of visa sanctions imposed on Gambian officials last year.
The State Department said the latest move which took effect Tuesday December 12, 2017; was because Banjul had taken steps to accept citizens deported from the U.S.
The tiny West African country had reportedly refused to accept nearly 2000 people the U.S. was at the time trying to deport. The Washington Times noted that Homeland Security took the move after extensive overtures to the Gambian government were not heeded.
“As of October 1, 2016, the US Embassy in Banjul, the Gambia has discontinued visa issuance to employees of the Gambian government, employees of certain entities associated with the government, and their spouses and children with limited exceptions,” a State Department official said at the time.
The Gambia is, however, not the only African country facing such sanctions. Recently, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Eritrea were all threatened with such measures over non acceptance of deported nationals.
It is not known the level of diplomatic engagements that led to the lifting of the sanctions but it was imposed under the reign of exile leader Yahya Jammeh. He went on to lose December 1, 2016 polls to then opposition coalition leader and current president, Adama Barrow.
Nigerian Customs: Cars importation ban Remains.
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has maintained that the ban on importation of used and new vehicles into the country through land borders remains.
The comptroller-general of customs, Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd), said this on Monday, June 24, when he spoke at the official launch of a bilateral trade platform at Seme border.
a letter from our Editor-in-Chief Bayo Olupohunda According to Ali, the Nigeria Customs Service will not open land border for importation of used vehicles.
He, however, said the government was interested in the success of the connectivity platform that would facilitate border trade between Nigeria and Benin.
Ali urged that stakeholders should embrace the platform to enable the two countries to achieve seamless operations and trade facilitation as this would assist genuine traders.
“We are envisaging compliance, and we hope we get compliance; where individual decides not to comply, then the customs will ensure there is no illicit trafficking between the two countries,”
The NCS boss noted that through the platform, false declaration of goods and some other illegal activities, experienced due to manual operation, would stop.