Minister of Aviation Confirms Resolution of Visa Impasse Between UAE and Nigeria

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The news that the visa impasse between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Nigeria has been resolved amicably, as announced by Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, has no doubt brought smiles to the faces of Nigerians and given them hope for a brighter future.

The announcement was made amidst criticism from former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, who demanded an apology from Emirates Airlines before they could resume operations on the Nigeria to Dubai route, stressing that they must be held responsible for their “disrespectful and demeaning conduct” before they are allowed to operate in Nigeria again.

In response to Chidoka’s stance, Festus Keyamo stressed the importance of resolving the rift between the two countries amicably and urgently too, highlighting the significant number of Nigerians who visit and invest in the UAE all year round.

The imbalance in benefits between the two nations was questioned by Keyamo even as he pointed out the substantial investments made by Nigerians in the UAE compared to the relatively few Emiratis visiting and investing in Nigeria.

He also addressed the issue of the lifting of the visa ban and clarified that it has been resolved and an official announcement will soon be made.

The travel restrictions imposed by UAE on passengers from Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo which led to tension between these countries were relatively due to a surge in COVID-19 cases from passengers coming from these countries.

However, it was rumoured and largely suspected that the travel ban may have been linked to a diplomatic dispute over flight frequency allocations involving Air Peace’s operations in the UAE.

The federal government responded by reducing Emirates’ flight slots from 21 to 1, causing the Dubai-based airline to suspend all flights to Nigeria.

The management of Air Peace has denied social media claims that the airline abandoned a passenger and closed its counter for its Monday flight from Gatwick to Lagos.

Corporate Communications Lead for the airline, Mr. Stanley Olisa, addressed the issue in a statement and clarified that the allegations stemmed from a video on social media, which he deemed false and misleading.

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