UAE’s Visa Ban on Nigerians Ends, Flight Operations Resume

In a significant diplomatic breakthrough, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced the lifting of the months-long visa ban on Nigerian travelers, marking the end of a prolonged dispute between the two nations. This development comes as a result of a historic agreement finalized on Monday between Nigerian President Bola Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.

The agreement, titled ‘President Tinubu secures landmark deal with United Arab Emirates across sectors; visa ban on Nigerian travelers is lifted immediately,’ signifies a new chapter in the diplomatic relationship between the two countries. One of the immediate consequences of this agreement is the resumption of flight operations by two major airlines, Etihad and Emirates, into and out of Nigeria.

The ban, which had been in place for nearly a year, affected not only Nigerian travelers but also citizens of around 20 African countries. These countries included Uganda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Cameroon, Liberia, and others. The ban was a response to various issues, including flight allocations and travel restrictions, which had strained diplomatic relations between Nigeria and the UAE.

President Tinubu had expressed his willingness to resolve the dispute and intervene personally in August 2023. During a meeting with the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, he emphasized the familial ties between the two nations and the need to address the issues amicably.

The recent agreement not only lifts the visa ban but also paves the way for substantial economic cooperation between the UAE and Nigeria. President Tinubu’s economic development and diplomacy efforts played a pivotal role in shaping the agreement. The framework established as part of the agreement outlines investments worth billions of U.S. dollars into the Nigerian economy, spanning sectors such as defense, agriculture, and others. Furthermore, a new foreign exchange liquidity program negotiated by President Tinubu is set to be announced in detail in the coming weeks.

President Tinubu expressed his gratitude to UAE President Al Nahyan for his unwavering friendship and commitment to normalizing and enhancing the relations between the two nations. As this diplomatic chapter comes to a close, it is expected to bring about increased economic cooperation and a renewed sense of collaboration between the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria. President Tinubu is set to return to Abuja following his stopover in Abu Dhabi, marking a positive turn in the diplomatic ties between the two nations.