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US: ‘Limited No-Interview Visa Renewals Now Available’

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The United States Mission in Nigeria has announced its plans to expand visa services to assist non-immigrant visa applicants in Nigeria who qualify to renew their visa.
In a statement in Abuja, and made available to The Tide in Port Harcourt, yesterday, the mission said, “This new application procedure will begin in February at the U.S. Consulate in Lagos and will be extended shortly thereafter to the U.S. Embassy in Abuja.
“The number of qualified applicants who can apply using the new procedures will be limited initially.
“You may be eligible for a visa renewal without an interview if your application is for a B1/B2, F, M, J (academic only), H, L or C1/D (combined only) visa, and you meet each of the following criteria: Your previous visa was issued in Nigeria; your previous visa is in the same classification as your current application; your previous visa was a full validity, multiple entry visa; your previous visa expired within the last 24 months or will expire in the next three months from the date of application; you have all your passports covering the entire period since receiving the previous visa and the passport with the most recent visa; you have never been arrested or convicted of any crime or offense in the United States, even if you later received a waiver or pardon; and you have never worked without authorisation or remained beyond your permitted time in the United States.
“Please, see our website at https://ng.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/ for further information.
“If you are qualified based on the above criteria, visit https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng to start your application.
“Please, note that processing times for the programme are expected to be up to two months, and you will not be able to retrieve your passport during that time.
“Each applicant must individually meet the criteria; minors can apply without an interview only if they meet the eligibility criteria on their own”.
On emergency appointments, the embassy said, “If you have a life-or-death emergency, you may request an expedited, in-person interview; however, to accommodate No-Interview Visa Renewals, appointments will be very limited.
“Business travel, conferences, weddings, and graduations are not considered emergencies. If you have an emergency and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng or +234-1-227-8955 to request an emergency appointment.
“Special Note: Third parties unaffiliated with U.S. Embassy, Abuja, and Consulate General, Lagos may seek to take advantage of various visa services to target visa applicants with fraudulent offers or claims.
“Applicants should fill out their own forms and make their appointments themselves via the official websites.
“As future opportunities for Interview Waiver appointments become available, they will be communicated via our website.
“Remember to rely on information only from genuine sources: https://travel.state.gov, https://ng.usembassy.gov/visas/, and https://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng. Avoid becoming the victim of a scam!”, it warned.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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Wike Dissolves State Executive Council …Drops Chief of Staff, SSA, Protocol

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has dissolved the State Executive Council with effect from Tuesday, May 24, 2022.

A statement signed by the Special Assistant Media to the Rivers State Governor, Kelvin Ebiri, indicated that the Chief of Staff to the Governor and Senior Special Assistant (Protocol), have also been relieved of their office.

“His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike, commends members of the Rivers State Executive Council for their service and contribution to the development of the state. He has also wished them the best in all their future endeavours.”

Wike, has, therefore, instructed all the former members of the State Executive Council to hand over to the most senior officers in their respective ministries.

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I’m Best Aspirant To Defend Interest Of Ndigbo -Wike

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has told leaders and delegates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State to trust him as the only presidential aspirant who has the capacity to defend the interest of Ndigbo.
Wike, who is also a presidential aspirant of the PDP met with the leaders and delegates of the party at Abia State Government House, in Umuahia, last Friday, to solicit support ahead of the party’s presidential primary this month.
The Rivers State governor stated that he would not be that kind of a leader who would be lost on the opportunity in public service to address social injustice and other forms of unfair treatment that people suffer in Nigeria.
Wike reiterated his belief in the restructuring of Nigeria, adding that he was determined to be the first to start the process to strengthen the sense of belonging among Nigerians.
“I say so with all amount of seriousness and I challenge anybody who is from the Southern part of Nigeria; who is from South-South, who is from South-East to say so boldly too. Check all of us; look and determine who can even defend the interest of Ndigbo better than me?
“It is not merely to talk. I mean who has the mind. Who has the courage? I have the mind and I have the courage. I will make sure the injustice in this country is solved.
“Ask them, when they were in power, what did they do? How many of them have spoken out? Look, don’t waste your votes on such people.”
Wike observed that things have fallen apart in the country because those of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who control the Federal Government lack such capacity.
The governor said he was prepared to effectively and productively take drastic decisions, and do so courageously in order to promote national good.
Wike assured that in solving Nigeria’s numerous problems, he would also provide requisite logistics, and other support to the security agencies to enable them curb insurgency and activities of bandits within a given timeline.
“That is what leadership is all about. You must be courageous to take decisions people are thinking that is impossible. Inability to take decisions that is our problem in this country.
“But I will take those decisions that people are running away from. I will take it.”
On his part, Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who had earlier hosted Wike on a courtesy visit, said they have found in the presidential aspirant a leader who was consistent, with character and trust worthy.
Ikpeazu said Nigeria was in a precarious situation with a bleak future and requires Wike to forge national unity, rescue the country and stabilise socio-economic development.
Former Abia State Governor, Senator Theodore Orji, who represents Abia Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, said Wike as a performer, was qualified to lead Nigeria.
He assured the presidential aspirant that Abia state delegates will support him.
Also speaking, former Gombe State Governor, Dr Hassan Dankwambo restated that Wike was truly a tested politician who was prepared psychologically and physically to be the best president of Nigeria.
Abia State PDP Chairman, Dr. Alwell Asiforo Okere, explained that most delegates were Wike’s converts because they believe in the leadership that he would offer following from what he had accomplished in Rivers State.

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Nigeria May Not End Hunger By 2025, Women Farmers Warn

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The President, Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON), Mrs Mary Afan, has said that Nigeria may not end hunger by 2025, if it does not invest massively in boosting agricultural production.
Afan made this known to newsmen, last Saturday, in Abuja on the sidelines of Non-State Actors Step Down training on post 3rd Biennial Review report (BR) organised by ActionAid.
Afan identified areas of investment to boost food production to include provision of farm inputs, grains or seedlings and fertiliser to small scale women farmers at a subsidised rate.
She noted that ending hunger by 2025 was one of the seven areas of commitment by countries under the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Biennial Review process or Malabo declaration.
She frowned at the high cost of fertiliser at the moment, adding that 50kg bag of fertiliser that was sold for N8,000 in 2021 was now selling for N27,000.
Afan said the price of a bag of fertiliser was equivalent to two bags of maize currently sold at N15,000, describing the challenge as disadvantageous and discouraging to farmers.
She described the hike as inimical to the nation’s target of food and nutrition security.
Afan said “the hike will greatly affect food production as farmers cannot afford the outrageous price to engage in large scale farming because they only have a small portion of land.
“Normally, we used to get support from government for subsidised fertiliser but at the moment no such support, government’s attention has shifted to 2023 election.
“Nothing like distribution of grains to farmers and as we speak, nobody listen to us, we are in a pathetic situation.
“Considering these challenges, there are no deliberate efforts by our government to end hunger by 2025.
“However, if it really wants to end hunger there would have been machineries in place by increasing agricultural budget, supporting small holder women farmers, subsidising their inputs, seeds among others to increase production.
“To address this crisis, government should also look at ways to increase irrigation farming so that farmers can have all year round farming instead of only rainy season as applicable in other countries,”.
The 3rd CAADP Biennial Report launched in March by the African Union Commission showed that Rwanda was the only African country that is on track in the seven CAADP/Malabo commitment areas.
The areas are ending hunger by 2025, enhancing investment financing in Nigeria, ending poverty through agriculture by 2025, boosting intra-African trade in agricultural commodities services.
Others are enhancing resilience to climate variability and enhancing mutual accountability for actions and results.
CAADP is a continental framework for accelerating broad-based economic growth and progress toward poverty reduction and food and nutrition security through an agriculture-led growth strategy.

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