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US embassy, consulate in Nigeria shutdown indefinitely

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The United States of America embassy in Abuja and its consulate in Lagos have shutdown indefinitely.

Consequently, the shutdown will affect thousands of Nigerians who might have a pending visa appointments as the embassy in Abuja and Consulate in Lagos.

This implies that persons who have applied for tourist, study, business visas, immigrant visas or any other travel document will have to cancel their plans.

The embassy said in a Facebook post that the development was caused by the government shutdown in the US.

The statement read, “Due to the current US government shutdown, the American centres located in the embassy, Abuja and Consulate-General, Lagos are unfortunately closed. They will re-open once the US government shutdown is resolved. Sorry for any inconvenience to our valued patrons.”

Recall that the executive arm of government led by President Donald Trump and the legislative arm have been at loggerheads for nearly two months over Trump’s attempt to build a wall along the Mexican border.

Building a wall was one of Trump’s major campaign promises as part of efforts to curb illegal migration and crime.

He had boasted during his campaign that the Mexican government would pay for the wall.

However, with the refusal of the Mexican government to fund the wall, the President approached the US legislative, asking the bi-cameral institution to provide $5bn which would be used in funding the wall.

The Congress, however, rejected Trump’s proposal.

On December 11, Trump held a televised meeting with Speaker-designee, Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, in which he asked them to support $5bn in funding for the border wall.

They refused and Trump said: “I am proud to shut down the government for border security … I will be the one to shut the government down. I’m not going to blame you for it … I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down.”

Three days later, Politico reported that Trump was willing to sign a bill that delayed a government shutdown into 2019 and the new Congress.

On December 19, the Senate unanimously passed a continuing resolution, the Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019, lasting until February 8, 2019.

Pelosi announced that House Democrats would support such a measure, meaning it would pass the House even in the wake of opposition from conservative Republicans. After increasing criticism from conservative media, pundits and political figures Trump completed a U-turn and declared that he would not sign any funding bill that did not include border wall funding.

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