A Facebook page shared a post announcing that the United States of America will grant 5,000 Nigerians free work Visa for two years.
The claim made by a Facebook page that the US government will grant 5,000 Nigerians free work Visa for two years is false. The Nigerian Embassy in the US has debunked the claim tagging it to be untrue.
A Facebook page with the name “Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, America” with a followership of over 2,783 users, released a post entitled “USA E-visa announcement”. The post claims that US President Donald Trump will grant 5,000 Nigerians two years of free working visas in the US.
The Facebook page, which is posing as the Embassy of Nigeria in the US, claimed that the information was communicated to it by Dr J.B Adams, on Friday, April 24, in line with the ‘Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 and economic reform’.
A statement issued by the Embassy of Nigeria, Washington D.C, tagged the information as “fake and malicious”. Not only did the statement reveal the absence of an Embassy-ran Facebook account, but it also denied receiving any such information. The statement concluded by reassuring citizens in the diaspora of the Embassy’s unrelenting commitment to their best interests.
Furthermore, according to a news report published by the BBC on April 21 (just two days before the Facebook post in question was made), there was an announcement that Trump had suspended all immigration to the US amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, it’s rather contradictory that within such a short time the president would change his mind suddenly to offer Nigerians work Visa.
Hence, the contrast between the news report from the BBC and that of the Facebook post deepened suspicion around the claim.
We first attempted to reach the phone numbers provided in the post and discovered them to be robocall numbers (an automated telephone call which delivers a recorded message); a tool usually used by scammers to mislead people.
Additionally, while the post encouraged health workers in Nigeria to apply as they stood a better chance, other details say otherwise. Per an article by the Voice of America, immigrant doctors within the U.S. are restricted and not included in the efforts to fight COVID-19 (even if they are willing). Thus, if America needed more doctors as implied by the post, it would have at least commenced with those already in the country and are ready to help, not going to recruit new ones from Nigeria. Given that immigration news to the United States is considered hot news to Nigerians, no mainstream media carried the story purported to have been issued in the name of Nigeria’s embassy in Washington, D.C. This piece of news is fake.