In October 2022, the UAE authorities imposed a visa ban on Nigerians and suspended flights, which had a significant impact on travel between the two countries. This move also led to Nigerian carrier Air Peace suspending its flights to Dubai due to the halt in visa issuance.
The Emirates airline had also suspended its flights to Nigeria, citing difficulties in repatriating funds as the reason for their decision.
In an effort to resolve these issues, President [Name] met with Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, at Aso Rock last month. During the meeting, the President emphasized the importance of resolving the issues surrounding Emirates Airline and visa issuance promptly and expressed his willingness to personally intervene if necessary. He likened the relationship between Nigeria and the UAE to a family living in separate rooms but within the same house, highlighting the need to address these issues as a family problem.
Recently, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the Presidential spokesman, announced that Bola Tinubu would engage with UAE authorities to further discuss and address these bilateral issues. The meeting will take place during a technical stopover in Abu Dhabi, UAE, following the President’s visit to New Delhi, India.
This meeting aims to build upon the conversations held during the UAE Ambassador’s visit to the State House in Abuja and seek solutions to the challenges in the relationship between Nigeria and the UAE. Additionally, President Tinubu plans to leverage this opportunity to advance investment promotion objectives with key figures in the public and private sectors of the United Arab Emirates.
After a successful investment drive at the G-20 Summit and a productive stopover in the UAE, President Tinubu is expected to return to Abuja following this important bilateral engagement.