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Nigerian, UAE ministers finalising agreements on visa ban lift – Presidency 



Tinubu and UAE president

President Bola Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed this to State House Correspondents on Tuesday.

It comes a day after Tinubu and the President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, met in Abu Dhabi, for talks which resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travellers.

Consequently, “Both Etihad and Emirates Airlines are to immediately resume flight schedules into and out of Nigeria, without any further delay,” a statement signed by Ngelale read on Monday.

In a short advisory he sent on Monday, Ngelale said, “Given the agreement struck between the two Heads of State, there is a need to allow cabinet officials from both sides to work out the finer details and finalise the cross-sectoral agreements.

“Everyone can now allow the process to work itself out organically, devoid of speculation.”

In October 2022, the UAE banned nationals of about 20 African countries from entering its borders.

“This is to inform you that we will not be posting 30 days visa applications for these nationalities effective today, October 18, 2022,” the notice partly read.

Affected countries include Uganda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Cameroon, Nigeria, Liberia, Burundi, Republic of Guinea, Gambia, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Benin, Ivory Coast, Congo, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Comoros, and the Dominican Republic.

In a notice issued to trade partners, including travel agents, Emirati authorities demanded that all applications be rejected.

“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 2023, former President, Muhammadu Buhari, appealed to Al Nahyan via telephone to lift the visa ban. However, the UAE authorities rejected the request.

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.