Nigeria-UAE stand-off ‘ends’ as Emirates to resume flights to Nigeria June, says Minister

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s decision to douse the tension and resolve the frosty relations between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may have yielded some fruits as Emirates has concluded plans to resume flight operations to Nigeria 36 months after the carrier exited Nigeria.

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo disclosed while appearing on a national television, stating that he had received a letter from the airline on the return of the carrier.

He clarified that the first announcement in October last year over the proposed resolution of the face-off between both nations was not fake news but ‘hasty’.

“Emirates flight resumption is almost happening. I just received a letter from Emirates. The letter is on my phone now. They have gone through all the gamut and they are ready to come back. They will announce the date because to restart a route, they have to get an aircraft for that route.”

READ ALSO:  MMA2, pride of Nigeria, embodies modernity

“I am announcing to Nigerians for the first time; that I just received a letter from Emirates now. The letter is with me. I have a hard copy thanking you for all the efforts we made. Mr. President was the showman here. He was the one who pushed for it. He made my job easy because he went there, and had a diplomatic shuttle to resolve all the issues. That was why I said the last announcement was hasty and not fake news. They will announce the date for their next flight. We have received a letter confirming that all the issues have been resolved and prepared to start coming back. It may be before June.”

Recall that Emirates had in November 2022 Emirates had engaged in negotiations and several meetings with representatives from the Nigerian aviation ministry to try and find solutions to releasing its trapped funds.

READ ALSO:  Dana restates commitment to breast cancer awareness in Nigeria

While Emirates was worried about its trapped funds, the UAE slammed a visa ban on Nigerians, effectively shutting the people out of Dubai.

In 2022, the UAE immigration department notified its trade partners and travel agencies that it was stopping visa applications from 22 countries, 20 of which are African nations.

Worried by the stand0ff between both nations, the President shortly after assuming power directed that the standoff between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Nigeria over the issuance of visas and outstanding face-off with Emirates Airlines be resolved.

He offered to personally intervene on the two issues so that people-to-person socio-economic relations between the two countries could resume.

Others include Uganda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Cameroon, Nigeria, Liberia, Burundi, Republic of Guinea, Gambia, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Benin, Ivory Coast, Congo, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Comoros, and the Dominican Republic.

READ ALSO:  New directorates I’ll bring fresh innovations-Orah

Concerning Nigeria, UAE authorities said all applications were on hold until issues between the UAE government and the Nigerian government were resolved.

In August 2021, a viral message on Twitter showed how some Nigerians were held against their wish and maltreated at a Dubai airport, despite carrying valid travel documents.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), said it might not be unrelated to the violation of new visa rules by some Nigerians in Dubai, prompting the government to evacuate over 500 citizens stranded in the UAE.

Wole Shadare