President Buhari has called on the government of the United Arab Emirates UAE to suspend the blanket visa ban on Nigerians.
The President made the call on Monday February 13, during a telephone conversation with the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who doubles as the Emir of Abu Dhabi.
A statement released by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said the President called his UAE counterpart to condole with him on the death of his mother-in-law, Sheikha Maryam Al Falasi, during which important issues of mutual concern between the two countries came up. According to Shehu, the President requested the emir to review the blanket visa ban imposed on Nigerians intending to travel to the UAE.
He recalled that mutually beneficial excellent relations had 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. The President said the ?recent irritants? in bilateral relations generated by consular issues relating to the behaviour of some Nigerians in the UAE were being ironed out, explained that no country including Nigeria would condone criminalities.
The President expressed the readiness of the Nigerian government to apply necessary sanctions through appropriate judicial process against anyone identified to have committed criminal acts in the UAE.
He urged 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. President Buhari also requested a resumption of the suspended operations of Emirates Airline in the country.
Recall that Emirates Airline had suspended its operations in Nigeria in 2022 in the wake of its inability to repatriate funds trapped in Nigeria.
President Buhari, who assured the UAE leader that the issue of the Emirates funds was receiving appropriate attention alongside those of other foreign airlines operating in Nigeria, added that the Central Bank of Nigeria had been directed to increase foreign exchange allocation to the airline.