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Suspend Visa Ban On Nigerians, Buhari Asks UAE

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has looked into the diplomatic situation between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which led to a visa ban on Nigerians wishing to travel to the Middle Eastern nation.

On October 2022, The Emirate authorities slammed a blanket visa ban on Nigerian travellers, excluding those carrying diplomatic passports. Though the UAE did not specify its reason for the decision, some adduced the blanket visa ban on the misbehaviour of some Nigerians living or working in the country.

However, during a telephone conversation on Monday, President Buhari spoke to his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who doubles as the Emir of Abu Dhabi, on lifting the ban. Buhari’s conversation with Sheikh Al Nathan was contained in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, on Tuesday.

Buhari had called Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to condole with him on the death of his mother-in-law, Sheikha Maryam Al Falasi, during which important issues of mutual concerns came up.

The President requested his UAE counterpart to review the blanket visa ban imposed on Nigerians intending to travel to the UAE, recalling that mutually beneficial excellent relations have subsisted between the two nations over many years, symbolized by robust economic interactions and regular consultations on matters of common interest, including engagements at the highest political levels. He noted that recent irritants in bilateral relations generated by consular issues relating to the behaviour of some Nigerians in the UAE are being ironed out, explaining that no country, including Nigeria, will condone criminalities and illegal behaviours.

Buhari expressed the readiness of the Government of Nigeria to apply necessary sanctions, through appropriate judicial process, against anyone identified to have committed criminal acts in the UAE, urging that the issue be allowed to be handled by the relevant security/intelligence agencies of the two countries and to come up with lasting solutions to the problems associated with criminalities and illegalities. Also, the president requested a resumption of the suspended operations of Emirates Airline in the country.

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