Etihad, Emirates Airlines to Recommence Flights into Nigeria
Etihad and Emirate Airlines have agreed to re-commence scheduled flights in and out of Nigeria immediately.
The decision was sequel to a meeting between President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi.
The meeting was initiated by President Tinubu also led to the cessation of blanket visa ban on Nigerians by the Emirate.
The presidency confirmed the development in a statement issued on Monday by presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale.
Part of the statement reads:
“As negotiated between the two heads of state, this immediate restoration of flight activity through these two airlines and between the two countries does not involve any immediate payment by the Nigerian government.
“In recognition of President Tinubu’s economic development diplomacy drive and the proposals today presented by President Tinubu to his counterpart, an agreed framework has been established, which will involve several billions of U.S. dollars worth of new investments into the Nigerian economy across multiple sectors, including defence, agriculture, and others, by the investment arms of the Government of the United Arab Emirates.
“Additionally, President Tinubu is pleased to have successfully negotiated a joint, new foreign exchange liquidity programme between the two governments, which will be announced in detail in the coming weeks.
“In conclusion, the President wishes to commend the UAE President, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for his unalloyed friendship and his determined effort to join hands with him to fully normalise and reset the standard of relations between the two important countries to excellence.”
Recall that in October 2022, the UAE announced that 20 countries from Africa including Nigeria “will not be posting 30 days visa applications.”
Some of the countries affected by the visa ban are, 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.
The ban has negatively impacted some Nigerian business people and tourists who hitherto trooped to the emirates for both business and pleasure. Many Nigerians also have various private and commercial properties in the emirate.