Contradicting claims made by the Nigerian government earlier this week, the UAE has insisted that no changes have been made to its visa ban on citizens from the African country.
On Friday, an unnamed Emirati official was quoted by CNN as saying “There are no changes on the Nigeria/UAE travel status so far.” The source requested not to be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The claim if made official, is at odds with a statement issued by the office of Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on 11 September, who visited the Gulf state and met with his Emirati counterpart, Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
The statement said the pair “have finalized a historic agreement, which has resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travelers.”
“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,” it added.
In September 2022, Dubai’s Emirates suspended flights to Nigeria over issues in repatriating funds from the country. This was followed a month later by the UAE imposing a visa ban on Nigerian citizens and rejected all applications submitted with fees non-refundable. Flights were suspended for a second time in November after briefly being resumed.
Earlier this year, in February, then-Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari called on Abu Dhabi to lift the blanket visa ban during a telephone conversation with Al-Nahyan.