President Bola Tinubu is set to confer with UAE officials at 5 pm UAE time today to address the suspension of Emirates Airline flights to Nigeria, the visa ban, and other diplomatic concerns.
Following his participation in the G20 summit in India, the President had a stopover in the Middle-East country, where Aviation and Aerospace Management Minister, Festus Keyamo, joined him. Keyamo verified his travel and the scheduled meeting between both countries’ officials.
The UAE initiated a visa ban on Nigerians in October 2022 and concurrently, Emirates Airlines ceased its flights to Nigeria. This action reportedly came after Nigeria’s inability to return billions in retained funds. As a result, Air Peace, a Nigerian airline operating in Dubai, also halted its operations due to the UAE’s cessation of visa issuance to potential Nigerian travelers.
During a meeting with the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, last month, President Tinubu urged for a swift resolution to the issues related to Emirates Airline and the visa issuance to Nigerians. He mentioned his willingness to step in personally if necessary. He likened the relationship between the two nations to that of a family, emphasizing the need for cooperation.
The intention of President Tinubu to meet with UAE leaders was announced by the Presidential spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, on Sunday.