President Buhari canvasses suspension of blanket visa ban by UAE

Friday Ajagunna
Friday Ajagunna

Nigerians have been subject to a broad visa ban by the government of the United Arab Emirates. President Muhammadu Buhari has urged for the ban to be lifted (UAE).

The President discussed this stance on Monday with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates and concurrent Emir of Abu Dhabi, over the phone.

To express his condolences on the passing of his mother-in-law, Sheikha Maryam Al Falasi, President Buhari contacted Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. During their conversation, significant matters of interest to both nations were discussed.

In light of the long-standing, mutually beneficial excellent relations between the two countries—symbolized by robust economic interactions and regular consultations on issues of shared interest, including engagements at the highest political levels—the President asked his UAE counterpart to review the blanket visa ban imposed on Nigerians intending to travel to the UAE.

He stated that recent frictions in bilateral ties brought on by consular problems connected to the behavior of some Nigerians in the UAE are being resolved and added that no nation, including Nigeria, would tolerate criminal acts and illegal behavior.

Therefore, President Buhari stated that the Nigerian government was prepared to impose necessary sanctions through the proper legal channels against anyone found to have committed crimes in the United Arab Emirates. He also urged that the matter be left in the hands of the two countries’ respective security and intelligence agencies in order to find long-term solutions to the issues posed by crimes and illegal activities.

A restart of Emirates Airline’s halted operations in the nation was also urged by President Buhari.

Recall that in 2022, Emirates Airline decided to stop operating in Nigeria due to its difficulty to repatriate its funds that had become stranded there.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has been instructed to increase foreign exchange allocation to the airline, President Buhari added, assuring the leader of the UAE that the issue regarding the Emirates funds is receiving the proper attention along with those of other foreign airlines operating in Nigeria.


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