President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Monday in Abu Dhabi, have finalized a historic agreement, which has resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travelers.
Furthermore, by this historic agreement, both Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines are to immediately resume flight schedules into and out of Nigeria, without any further delay.
In a statement by Ajuri Ngelale, special adviser to the President, Media & Publicity, stated that as negotiated between the two Heads of State, 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.
“In recognition of President Tinubu’s economic development diplomacy drive and proposals today presented by President Tinubu to his counterpart, an agreed framework has been established, which will involve several billions of U.S. dollars’ worth of new investments into the Nigerian economy across multiple sectors, including defense, agriculture and others, by the investment arms of the Government of the United Arab Emirates.
“Additionally, President Tinubu is pleased to have successfully negotiated a joint, new foreign exchange liquidity programme between the two governments, which will be announced in detail in the coming weeks,” Ngelale stated.
In October 2022, the UAE imposed a visa ban on Nigerians following a diplomatic row.
“The rejections are general for Nigerians and approvals are on hold at the moment,” the Dubai authorities said at the time.
Both countries have disagreed on a number of occasions about the number of flights Nigeria’s Air Peace would be allowed to undertake to Sharjah Airport in UAE.
While Air Peace requested three slots, only one was granted.
Also, Emirates Airlines, one of UAE’s flag carriers, has had problems repatriating its funds from Nigeria.