Wednesday, June 5, 2024

UAE to lift visa ban on Nigeria says minister

Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has announced that the UAE plans to lift a travel ban on Nigerian citizens imposed in 2022. According to Punch, Keyamo made the announcement during a welcome dinner for delegates at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) 80th Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit in Dubai.

Keyamo stated: “The issue of visa has been resolved, just the announcement remains. They want to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. The announcement will be made in a couple of weeks.”

The travel ban was imposed by the UAE due to diplomatic disputes, including issues with visa denials and a face-off with Emirates Airlines, which had suspended flights to the West African country.

President Bola Tinubu had intervened last year to resolve these disputes, and his office claimed to have “secured a landmark deal” with the UAE to lift the ban with immediate effect. However this was later denied by an Emirati official.

Keyamo highlighted the importance of the UAE as a partner to Nigeria, noting the significant investments Nigerians have in the Gulf state.

“Nigerians have a lot of stakes here in the UAE with a lot of investments. What we are doing is to make it easy for millions of Nigerians who have put a lot of pressure on us to ensure that we open up this route again,” he said.

“I was on the same ride with the ruler of Dubai, the minister and the head of Emirates Group and all the top shots of Emirates. That is to tell you how much they value us, and they want Nigeria to see it in that light. They have started to trust us again, and I want to say thank you to them. I will take it from here on,” the minister added.

The official announcement, once made, is expected to rekindle bilateral relations and increase trade and flight connectivity between the two countries. Last month, Emirates Airlines announced that it will resume flights to Nigeria starting 1 October.

Middle East Monitor

Related story: Top Visa-Free Countries that Nigerians Can Travel To


No comments:

Post a Comment