UAE lifts Nigerian visa ban, Emirates Airlines to resume flights
The UAE is set to resume issuing visas to Nigerian travelers, marking a significant step towards normalizing diplomatic relations between the two nations.
UAE Resumes Nigerian Visas and Flights
This development follows the signing of a comprehensive agreement in Abu Dhabi by Presidents Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the UAE and Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria. The agreement puts an end to a protracted standstill by resuming visa services as well as Emirates and Etihad flights to Nigeria.In the wake of this historic agreement, both Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines will swiftly resume flight schedules to and from Nigeria without any immediate financial obligations imposed on the Nigerian government. The restoration of flight activities will serve to strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations.
Previous Visa Suspension and Flight Cancellations:
The UAE stopped giving visas to nationals of Nigeria last year, and Emirates airline stopped flying to Nigeria. These actions were made in response to Nigeria's decision to withhold nearly $700 million in earnings repatriation from multinational carriers operating there. IATA, a body representing the world's airline sector, has taken a leading role in resolving this problem.
Economic Reforms in Nigeria:
Nigeria has been struggling with a lack of foreign cash, which led President Tinubu to launch a number of economic reforms. To encourage the entrance of foreign capital into the nation, these reforms include the elimination of foreign exchange controls.
President Tinubu expressed his personal commitment to resolving the visa issue during a meeting with UAE's Ambassador Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi in Abuja. This dedication culminated in the recent successful negotiations.
In addition to visa and flight restoration, the leaders discussed a forthcoming foreign exchange liquidity program between the two governments, set to be detailed in the coming weeks. Moreover, a framework has been agreed upon, outlining substantial UAE investments amounting to billions of dollars in various sectors, including defense and agriculture.
President Tinubu's visit to the UAE followed his participation in the G20 Summit in India, where Nigeria received significant investment pledges from Indian companies, highlighting the country's commitment to fostering economic growth and international partnerships.
This diplomatic breakthrough signifies a new chapter in UAE-Nigeria relations, promising enhanced economic cooperation and strengthened ties between the two nations.