Nigeria-UAE Diplomatic Resolution Leads to Resumption of Flights and Business

Following a diplomatic breakthrough between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Emirates Airlines announced that it will resume its flight operations in Nigeria immediately.

The UAE had imposed a visa ban on Nigerian travelers since last October, citing security concerns. The ban was lifted on Monday after a meeting between President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of UAE in Abu Dhabi.

President Tinubu had earlier met with the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria on August 24 and expressed his willingness to resolve the dispute between the two countries. The visa ban had affected several other airlines that were barred from bringing Nigerian passengers to the UAE. The UAE had also banned nationals from nearly 20 other countries, mostly in Africa, from entering its territory.

The Nigerian government had retaliated by restricting Emirates Airlines and reducing its frequencies from 21 per week to one. On October 29, 2022, the airline suspended its flights to Nigeria due to its inability to repatriate its funds from the country.

Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, confirmed the resumption of Emirates flights in a statement issued in Abu Dhabi. He said that the development was a result of the cordial meeting between the two leaders.

In the statement, Ngelale said: “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.

“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.

“In conclusion, the President wishes to commend the UAE President, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for his unalloyed friendship and his determined effort to join hands with him to fully normalize and reset to excellence, the standard of relations between the two important countries”, Ngelale also said.

Post navigation