Fact Check: UAE Has Not Lifted Visa Ban for Nigerians

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has rejected Nigeria’s announcement that a year-long visa ban on its travelers would be lifted.

An official from the UAE, as quoted by CNN, said that there’s no change in the travel status between the two countries. The identity of this official remains confidential, as they’re not allowed to speak with the press.

A year ago, the UAE decided not to issue visas to Nigerians and citizens from 19 other African countries, without a clear reason.

This decision was a surprise as, until then, Nigerians found it easy to get a 30-day tourist visa. Around the same period, the Emirates airline, based in Dubai, suspended operations in Nigeria. This move came after the airline could not recover a hefty $85 million held in Nigeria.

Recently, Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu, and the UAE’s President, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, held an important meeting in Abu Dhabi.

Following the meeting, Nigeria announced that this meeting led to an agreement to lift the visa ban and restore flights. The Nigerian government was optimistic about the immediate return of airlines like Etihad Airways and Emirates.

However, the UAE’s later statement only covered the discussion of bilateral collaborations and strengthening ties, with no mention of any visa or flight decisions.

In response, Nigerian government spokesman, Ngelale, said that further talks and time are needed to finalize any agreement. He urged patience and avoiding unnecessary speculation.

Emirates Airlines used to operate two daily flights from Lagos to Dubai and one daily flight from Abuja to Dubai before the ban.


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