UAE lifts VISA ban on Nigerian Travellers

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In a groundbreaking turn of events, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has officially lifted the visa ban imposed on Nigerian travellers. This pivotal decision came on the heels of a significant meeting between Nigerian President Bola Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi, marking a new era of diplomatic relations between the two nations. Presidential spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale delivered this momentous announcement through a statement released on Monday, spreading optimism and enthusiasm among Nigerians and travellers to the UAE alike.

As part of this historic agreement, both Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines are set to promptly resume their flight schedules to and from Nigeria, putting an end to the disruptions caused by the visa ban. What’s particularly noteworthy is that, as negotiated between the two Heads of State, this immediate resumption of flight activity does not come with an immediate financial burden on the Nigerian government, alleviating concerns and ensuring smooth travel between the countries. The journey to this diplomatic triumph traces back to October 2022 when the UAE imposed a visa ban on Nigerians, a move that followed Emirates Airlines’ suspension of flights to Nigeria. The reason cited for this action was Nigeria’s purported inability to repatriate substantial funds held in the country, totalling over $700 million, which international carriers had earned.

Former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari had, at the beginning of this year, appealed to his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to lift the visa ban on Nigerians. However, the UAE seemed unmoved by the plea.

In a decisive turn of events, President Tinubu took the reins and expressed his personal commitment to resolving the visa matter during a meeting with the UAE’s Ambassador, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. It was during these discussions that a framework was established, building on President Tinubu’s economic development diplomacy efforts and proposals. This framework signifies a momentous commitment from the UAE, involving investments worth several billions of U.S. dollars into the Nigerian economy across multiple sectors. The sectors earmarked for these investments include defence, agriculture, and various others, setting the stage for significant economic growth and collaboration between the two nations.

As the details of these investments and collaborations continue to unfold, Nigerians and the global community eagerly anticipate the positive impact of this diplomatic achievement. The lifting of the visa ban and the subsequent economic partnerships mark a new chapter in Nigeria-UAE relations, fostering goodwill and prosperity for both nations and their citizens.



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