Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have reached an agreement that may have ended the 10 month imbroglio between both countries that led to visa bans imposed on Nigerian travellers and restrictions of flight operations on both ends.
The visa restriction which was imposed by the UAE 10 months ago had affected activities of Nigerians who flew there for business and leisure and caused Emirates Airlines the nation’s flag carrier and Etihad Airways, its national carrier to cease operations along with Nigeria’s designated carrier Air Peace.
The President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu who flew to Abu Dhabi from the G-20 Summit in India at the weekend for the purpose had directed the immediate resolutions of the issue when Ambassador Designate, Amb Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, presented his Letter of Credence,” to him at Aso Rock.
In a statement on Monday, Presidential spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, announced that the meeting with the UAE authorities was fruitful.
He said the President and President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Monday in Abu Dhabi, have finalised a historic agreement, which has resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travellers.
He said“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 defence, 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.”