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Nigerians free to travel to Dubai, Abu Dabi, others



• As UAE lifts visa ban after parley with Tinubu

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The almost one year United Arab Emirates (UAE) visa ban on Nigerians has been lifted following a fruitful meeting President Bola Tinubu had with President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi, yesterday.

Dubai authorities had in October 2022 declared that all applications were on hold until issues between the UAE and the Nigerian governments were resolved.

Both leaders finalised a historic agreement, which resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travelers. 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,” a statement by the presidency spokesman said.

It said  in recognition of President Tinubu’s efforts in economic development diplomacy and the proposals he made to his counterpart, an agreed framework had been established. This framework will involve several billions of dollars in new investments from the investment arms of the Government of the United Arab Emirates into the Nigerian economy across a variety of sectors, including defence, agriculture, and others.

The two governments’ collaborative, new foreign exchange liquidity initiative, which will be published in more detail in the upcoming weeks, was also successfully negotiated by President Tinubu, who is happy about this achievement.

President Tinubu expressed his appreciation to his UAE counterpart, Al Nahyan, for his unwavering friendship and his commitment to working with him to fully normalise and raise the bar for relations between the two significant nations.

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