President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is headed to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from India, to address the general visa ban imposed on Nigerians as well as the long-drawn dispute between Emirates Airlines and the Nigerian government. A top foreign ministry official disclosed to Peoples Gazette on Sunday that the president will be in the UAE to discuss visa issues, Emirates operations in Nigeria and other bilateral matters, after which he will return to Nigeria.
Recall that Mr Tinubu had on August 24 said he was determined to end the bilateral dispute between both countries that led to the suspension of flight operations to Nigeria in October 2022, amid claims of their trapped Emirates funds in Nigeria’s central bank. UAE also banned Nigerians and nearly 20 other nationals, most Africans, from entering its territory, citing a crime wave.
Presidential spokesman Ajuri Ngelale confirmed the resolution move by the president in a State House press release on Sunday.
“President Bola Tinubu will meet with the leadership of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during a technical stopover in Abu Dhabi, UAE, after the President’s departure from New Delhi, India.
“The meeting will serve as a follow-up discussion to address specific, salient issues within the bilateral relationship after conversations held during a recent visit by the UAE Ambassador to the President at the State House in Abuja.
“The President is to address lingering bilateral issues while maximizing the opportunity of the stopover to equally advance his investment promotion objectives with high-level authorities in the public and private sectors of the United Arab Emirates.
“Following a successful investment drive on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit, active participation in the G-20 Summit, and a productive stopover in the UAE, the President is expected to return to Abuja immediately following the bilateral engagement,” the statement said.
Mr Tinubu’s trip to India had already been touted as a major success, with both countries expressing readiness to improve social and economic ties in the immediate future.