The United Arab Emirates will lift a visa ban placed on Nigerian travelers almost a year ago following an agreement with President Bola Tinubu, who is on a visit to the Middle Eastern nation.
As part of the agreement with UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline will resume flights to and from the West African nation, said Ajuri Ngelale, spokesman for Nigeria’s president, in an emailed statement on Monday.
“This immediate restoration of flight activity, through these two airlines and between the two countries, does not involve any immediate payment by the Nigerian government,” he said.
Emirates suspended flights to Nigeria last year over challenges in repatriating funds from the West African nation and Etihad at the start of the pandemic.
Separately, Nigeria was among 20 African countries that the UAE placed visa restrictions on in October without giving a reason.
The deal comes as Tinubu, who was sworn in as president on May 29, has initiated several reforms to attract investment including ending costly gasoline subsidies and easing foreign-exchange controls that led to dollar shortages.
The two nations also agreed to a foreign exchange liquidity program that will be announced in the coming weeks and a framework that will result “in billions of US dollars worth of new investments into the Nigerian economy across multiple sectors,” Ngelale said.
By Ruth Olurounbi, Reuters