Contrary to the statement from the Presidency that sequel to President Tinubu’s visit to the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE had lifted the visa ban on Nigeria with immediate effect, the statement from the UAE foreign ministry does not mention any such agreements.
However, a cursory look at the statement from the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reveals that there was no agreement on any lifting of the ban on visa applications from Nigeria between the two countries.
Also, there was no mention of flight resumption of Emirates and Etihad airlines between the two countries as stated by the SA to the President.
Statement from Nigeria’s Presidency
Yesterday, the Presidency released a statement saying “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Monday in Abu Dhabi, have finalized a historic agreement, which has resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travellers.
- “Furthermore, by this historic agreement, both Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines are to immediately resume flight schedules into and out of Nigeria, without any further delay.”
Statement from the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs
While the statement from the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that the UAE leader emphasized the strategic importance of His country’s relationship with Nigeria and Africa in general, there was no concrete mention of agreements reached between both leaders on the issues of visa and airline flight.
The statement from the UAE Foreign Affairs Ministry reads
- “During the meeting, which took place at Qasr Al Shati in Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed renewed his congratulations to Tinubu on assuming the presidency earlier this year, and wished him every success in leading Nigeria and its people to further progress and prosperity.”
- “His Highness expressed his hope that the two leaders will work together to reinforce ties between the UAE and Nigeria for the benefit of both countries.”
- “The UAE President and Nigerian President explored opportunities for further bilateral collaboration in areas that serve both countries’ sustainable economic growth, including the economic, development, energy, and climate action fields.”
- “The two sides also exchanged views on a number of regional and international developments of interest.”
- “The meeting discussed the upcoming COP28 climate conference set to take place in the UAE later this year, with both parties stressing the vital importance of encouraging and enabling international cooperation to tackle global issues, including climate change.”
- “His Highness underscored the UAE’s ongoing commitment to fostering ties with countries that share the same aspirations for stability, sustainable growth, and development and prosperity for their people. He further emphasised the particular importance the UAE attaches to its relationship with Nigeria, within the framework of its strategic vision for relations with the African continent.”
On concluding the G20 summit in India, President Tinubu proceeded to the UAE to meet its leader. President Tinubu had earlier promised to personally intervene in the 10-month-long visa ban imposed on Nigeria by the UAE and other diplomatic and economic disputes between the two countries.