The United Arab Emirates has agreed to resume visa issuance to Nigerians.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, announced this via his Twitter handle on Wednesday. Sirika explained that Nigeria also permitted the operation of Emirates Airlines in Nigeria.
According to him, lifting of the visa restriction was a condition for Nigeria to allow Emirates Airlines operations in Nigeria.
He tweeted, “UAE has written to state that they agree to issue visas to Nigerians, consequently decision has been reached to allow Emirates to fly into Nigeria.
“Commencement of the Visa issuance is condition precedent. Please bear with this unusual situation. Many thanks.”
The Federal Government had banned Emirates Airlines from Lagos and Abuja airports over alleged refusal to grant fresh visa applications submitted by Nigerians.
This was after banning European carriers, with the exception of British Airways, over travel restrictions.
Before the resumption of international flights in the country, the Federal Government had announced that Air France, KLM, Etihad, RwandAir, Air Namibia, Royal Air Maroc, Lufthansa, TAAG Angola Airlines were not granted approval to commence flight operations.
Cabo Verde and South African airlines were also denied approval as international flights had yet to resume in their countries.
Earlier, UAE said travel between the UAE and Nigeria was limited due to the closure of the Nigerian airspace.
The country denied restricting the issuance of visa to Nigerian visitors, saying, “At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE took a number of precautionary measures to combat the virus’ spread, including the temporary suspension on issuing UAE visas to all nationalities as of March 17, 2020.
“After entering the recovery phase of the pandemic, the UAE eased some measures on July 7, permitting visitors from various countries to adhere to the necessary precautionary measures, including by showing negative PCR test results within 92 hours of traveling to the UAE. “This includes those visiting from Nigeria.
“However, travel between the UAE and Nigeria has remained limited due to the closure of the Nigerian airspace.”