UAE Lifts Visa Ban against Nigerians, Following Tinubu’s Intervention
United Arab Emirate (UAE) has lifted its visa ban against Nigerians, following the intervention of President Bola Tinubu.
UAE President, Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahiyan, announced the decision at a meeting with President Tinubu on Monday in Abu Dhabi.
With the agreement, Etihad and emirate airlines are to resume flights operations in Nigeria with immediate effect.
The Middle East court had imposed the flight ban to protests the rising cases of Nigerians, involving in various crimes in the country.
Also, the airlines stopped operating in Nigeria, due to the non-availability of foreign exchange by the central bank of Nigeria, for the conversion of their fund in Nigeria.
“Any applications from the above-mentioned countries will be sent back or cancelled,” said the notice. However, it does not affect persons holding diplomatic passports.
Since the ban, the UAE and Nigeria have been locked in a diplomatic row over issues involving flight allocations and travel restrictions.
In February, former President Muhammadu Buhari appealed to Al Nahyan via telephone to lift the visa ban. However, the UAE authorities rejected the request.
Explaining the recent development, the President’s spokesman noted that the immediate restoration of flight activity through Emirates and Etihad Airlines and between the two countries does not involve any immediate payment by the Nigerian government.
Ngelale said in recognition of Tinubu’s economic development and diplomacy drive and proposals presented to his counterpart, an agreed framework has been established.
The framework will involve “several billions of U.S. dollars’ worth of new investments into the Nigerian economy across multiple sectors, including defence, agriculture and others, by the investment arms of the Government of the United Arab Emirates,” the statement read in part.
Additionally, President Tinubu successfully negotiated a joint, new foreign exchange liquidity programme between the two Governments, which Ngelale said will be announced in detail in the coming weeks.
Tinubu commended the UAE President, Al Nahyan, for his unalloyed friendship and determined effort to join hands with him to fully normalise and reset the standard of relations between the two important countries to excellence.
The President, who ended his stopover in Abu Dhabi, is expected to return to Abuja immediately.