Contrary to the federal government’s assertion that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) removed its visa ban on Nigerian travelers, the UAE has refuted these claims.
According to a report by CNN on Friday, an official from the UAE confirmed that the visa ban on Nigerians remains in place.
“There are no changes on the Nigeria/UAE travel status so far,” the report reads.
CNN said the source asked not to be named “because he is not authorized to speak to the media”.
This contradicts the statement made on Monday by Ajuri Ngelale, the presidential spokesperson, who claimed that the UAE had lifted the visa ban following a meeting between President Bola Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.
Ngelale also mentioned that both Emirates and Etihad Airlines are expected to resume flight operations in Nigeria without delay.
At the closing ceremony of the 7th African Aviation Summit in Abuja, Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, had previously stated that the government was working on the final details to facilitate the resumption of flight operations between the two nations.
It is worth noting that, in October of the year 2022, the immigration authorities of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) made an official declaration to suspend the processing of visa applications from Nigerian citizens.
A month after this announcement, Emirates Airlines suspended its flight operations to Nigeria for the second time in that year. This suspension was due to the airline’s ongoing challenge in repatriating its $85 million in revenue that was trapped within the country.