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HomeMetro NewsUAE to lift visa ban on Nigerian travelers soon, says Festus Keyamo

UAE to lift visa ban on Nigerian travelers soon, says Festus Keyamo

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is set to lift its visa restriction on Nigerian travelers, according to Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo.

Keyamo made the announcement while speaking with the State House media on Saturday, indicating that all necessary protocols have been observed to facilitate the reversal of the ban.

“We have done everything. We have resolved everything. Just wait for the announcement from the UAE government, and that announcement is imminent,” Keyamo stated.

While the minister is aware of the exact date when the travel restriction will be officially lifted, he emphasized that the UAE government should make the formal announcement.

Background of the Diplomatic Dispute

The visa ban, which has been in place since December 13, 2021, was initially imposed due to a reported surge in COVID-19 cases among travelers from Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

However, the restriction is widely believed to be linked to a diplomatic dispute over flight allocations between the two countries, particularly involving Air Peace’s flight frequency to the UAE.

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Efforts to resolve the issue have been ongoing. On March 5, the Nigerian presidency circulated a document suggesting that the travel ban had been lifted.

However, Bayo Onanuga, special adviser on information and strategy to President Bola Tinubu, clarified that the document was not officially authorized by either the Nigerian or UAE governments.

Recent Developments

On May 23, the Nigerian federal government announced that the UAE visa ban on Nigerians had been resolved and that an official announcement was imminent.

Minister Keyamo’s recent comments reaffirm this development, suggesting that the long-standing travel restriction will soon come to an end.

Anticipation Builds

The imminent lifting of the visa ban is expected to ease travel for Nigerians, fostering better diplomatic and economic relations between the two nations.

The aviation sector, in particular, stands to benefit from the resolution, potentially leading to increased travel and business opportunities.

As the announcement from the UAE government is awaited, stakeholders in the travel and aviation industry are optimistic about the positive impact of this development on bilateral relations and economic activities between Nigeria and the UAE.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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