The United States Embassy in Nigeria has come under criticism after denying a report it had stopped issuing student visas to Nigerians.
The embassy, through its verified Twitter handle @USEmbassyAbuja, on Monday described as “false” a report by an online medium that it had placed a ban on study visas for Nigerians until further notice.
“#FakeNews Alert! Be advised, reports of Student Visa ban for Nigerians is false. If you have seen such manufactured item on Facebook and Twitter or received it via WhatsApp, please communicate that it is false,” the tweet read.
While a few Nigerians on social media commended the embassy for debunking the report, a majority of those who responded criticised the embassy.
A user with the handle, @nnaemeza, wrote, “My friend was given admission by a school in the US and you denied him a visa twice. So, why shouldn’t we believe the news?”
Another user, @alphaolive, said, “Many people that apply for American visas are denied without any justification. I was told that I won’t come back when I only wanted to stay for two weeks. It is immoral to be collecting visa fees from Nigerians and act as if it is a revenue source for USA.”
One Francis Odikpo wrote, “Visiting America should not be a big deal, let’s work and make Nigeria better. Maybe it is their way of telling us to fix our mess.”
A woman @Diva_Ambitious, asked the embassy to release its record of the number of visas it had issued in four months “and how many applications,” @Sigaboj added.
Olayinka Adio wrote, “How can you explain denying a student, who has secured admission with a scholarship and also has an uncle, a lecturer at the same school he was admitted to, who will make his stay and education comfortable, a visa after two attempts in two months?”
A user @Paul2ng said an outright ban on student visa would be better.
He said, “Maybe a ban would have been better, when the majority (of student visa applicants) are being refused and no cogent reason given; then don’t blame them if they interpret it as a “Ban.”