The European Union discloses it could impose restrictive visa implementation rules on Nigeria, if it fails to play its role in the return and readmission of the Nigerians staying illegally in the EU.
The EU, which are Germany, Italy, Spain, France and 23 other countries, further said that though it would not place a visa ban on Nigeria, it could make its visas more difficult for Nigerian applicants if Nigeria failed to meet its standards.
Ms Virginie Battu-Henriksson, the EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, revealed this in an email chat with The PUNCH on Tuesday.
When asked if the EU had challenges Nigeria was trying to resolve with the US, Battu-Henriksson stated that Nigerians still placed among the top 10 nationalities detected as staying irregularly in the EU even though the number of Nigerians travelling irregularly to the EU had dropped.
She said Nigerian criminal networks remained active in the EU.
The EU spokesperson said, “Nigerians still place among the top 10 nationalities detected as staying irregularly on the EU territory, although the number of Nigerians entering the EU irregularly declined drastically last year.
Remember that the United States had last month imposed visa ban on Nigeria and five other countries.
Under the new policy, citizens of the affected countries would not be allowed to apply for visas to emigrate to the US under the policy aimed at tightening “security for countries that don’t comply with the US minimum security standards or cooperate to prevent illegal immigration.”
But while Nigeria is still battling with the US visa ban, the EU said it could impose restrictive visa implementation rules on it.