An official of the United Arab Emirates has countered claims made by the Federal government that it has lifted the year-long visa ban on Nigerian travelers. In an interview with CNN, an official from the Gulf state who spoke on condition of anonymity said
“There are no changes on the Nigeria/UAE travel status so far.”
Recall that last October, the UAE announced it will no longer issue visas to citizens from Nigeria and 19 other African nations. It did not provide further details. Obtaining a 30-day tourist visa was relatively easy until the UAE abruptly stopped issuing the visas to Nigerians.
In a bid to resolve the diplomatic issues, President Tinubu visited the UAE on Monday, September 11, where he met the UAE President, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In a statement released, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelali, said the meeting paved the way for the lifting of the visa ban, including the immediate resumption of flights between both countries.
However, a statement by the UAE government released on Monday said both leaders had during the meeting, “explored opportunities for further bilateral collaboration” with the hope of “reinforcing ties between the UAE and Nigeria,” but did not mention lifting the visa ban or flights restarting.
Ajuri later granted an interview where he stated that Nigerians should not expect to start flying to the UAE immediately as officials from both countries needed more time to finalize agreement details.