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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Nigeria, UAE visa face-off settled, issuance begins soon – FG

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The Nigerian government has assured that the visa face-off between the country and the United Arab Emirates, UAE has been settled.

In the light of this, the UAE government would soon lift the travel barrier debarring Nigerians from visiting the UAE especially Dubai.

This was made known by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, on Monday at a welcome dinner for delegates attending the International Air Transport Association 80th Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit taking place in Dubai, UAE.

Keyamo, who was accompanied into the AGM hall with the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, said issues relating to visa denial by the UAE had been resolved, adding that what remained was to fine-tune processes for lifting the visa ban.

Speaking with journalists on the sideline of the event, the minister said, “The issue of visa has been resolved just the announcement remaining. They want to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. The announcement will be in a couple of weeks.”

Keyamo further stated that his visit to Dubai was necessitated by the need to ensure cordial relationships with countries of the world.

He said, “The UAE is considered as a very important partner in Nigeria. Nigerians have a lot of stakes here in the UAE with a lot of investments. What we are doing is to make sure that we 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 and secondly to make the visa application easier. I am sure you can see the way I was received here. That is to tell you how they value Nigeria.”

“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. There was no other person given that privilege here; that is to tell you how much they value us and they want Nigeria to see it in that light. They have opened up again to us. They have started to trust us again and I want to say thank you to them. I will take it from here on.”

The UAE imposed the visa ban on Nigeria in connection with a number of diplomatic disputes.

President Bola Tinubu had in August 2023 waded into the dispute between the UAE and Nigeria over the issuance of visas as well as the face-off with Emirates Airlines that had made the carrier stop flights into Nigeria.

 

 

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