Buhari seeks suspension of blanket visa ban by UAE

Buhari seeks suspension of blanket visa ban by UAE

Promise Eze

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday called for a lifting of the blanket visa ban clamped down on Nigerians by the government of the United Arab Emirates, UAE.

During a telephone conversation on Monday, President Buhari spoke to his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who doubles as the Emir of Abu Dhabi, on lifting the ban.

Buhari’s conversation with Sheikh Al Nathan was contained in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, on Tuesday.

The President requested his UAE counterpart to review the blanket visa ban imposed on Nigerians intending to travel to the UAE, recalling that mutually beneficial excellent relations have subsisted between the two nations over many years, symbolized by robust economic interactions and regular consultations on matters of common interest, including engagements at the highest political levels.

He noted that recent irritants in bilateral relations generated by consular issues relating to the behaviour of some Nigerians in the UAE are being ironed out, explaining that no country including Nigeria will condone criminalities and illegal behaviours.

President Buhari therefore expressed the readiness of the Government of Nigeria to apply necessary sanctions through appropriate judicial process against anyone identified to have committed criminal acts in the UAE.

He asked that the issue be allowed to be handled by the relevant security/intelligence agencies of the two countries and to come up with lasting solutions to the problems associated with criminalities and illegalities.

President Buhari also requested a resumption of the suspended operations of Emirates Airline in the country.

Recall that Emirates Airline had suspended its operations in Nigeria in 2022 in the wake of its inability to repatriate funds trapped in Nigeria.

President Buhari assured the UAE leader that the issue of the Emirates funds was receiving appropriate attention alongside those of other foreign airlines operating in Nigeria.

He added that the Central Bank of Nigeria had been directed to increase foreign exchange allocation to the airline.


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