Visa Ban, Others: UAE Team Storm Abuja For Talks With FG

Officials of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have reportedly arrived in Nigeria to work on harmonizing positions with federal government authorities for the final stage of resumption of commercial flights between both countries and issuing visas to Nigerians.

Streetdope reports that the five-member team comprising Almannaei Khalid, Janahi Asma, Alshehhu Rasheed, Teo Teck San, and Alhosani Talal arrived in Nigeria on Sunday.

A top official of the Foreign Affairs Ministry told The Nation that the UAE team is already liaising with relevant Nigerian officials on the terms agreed by President Bola Tinubu and Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi during their Abu Dhabi meeting on September 10.

The official revealed that some members of the team have already met with relevant Nigerian personnel.

He explained that some members of the UAE delegation were mandated to handle all the terms regarding the visa ban while the rest, made up of Emirates Airlines chiefs, are focussing on flight resumption.

The Foreign Affairs source said: “They (UAE officials) came to meet with our own officials who have roles to play in fulfilling the agreements reached in Abu Dhabi. “I believe there are just a few more final touches to be put on the agreements, then those terms will become active.

“In essence, by the time these last steps are finalised, in a matter of days or weeks, the issue of visa ban and flight restrictions would have been sorted, and then flights by UAE airlines and our own Air Peace can resume their normal routes.”

Recall that Tinubu and Al Nahyan had on September 10th agreed at the Abu Dhabi parley that the visa ban on Nigerians and suspension of commercial flights by UAE be lifted in the interest of both countries.

Although Nigeria and the UAE have maintained their diplomatic contacts, relations became strained when, in October 2022, the Emirati authorities slammed a visa ban on Nigerian travellers after Emirates Airlines suspended flights to Nigeria.

UAE had reacted to the failure of Nigeria to repatriate billions of dollars trapped funds belonging to Emirates Airlines.