The Presidency has clarified the controversy surrounding the lifting of the UAE visa ban on Nigerians saying that the lifting of the ban doesn’t mean airlines would begin operations immediately.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to President Tinubu on Media & Publicity, Temitope Ajayi, despite the lifting of the UAE visa ban, government officials of Nigeria and UAE would still need to “hammer out the details of the agreement for ratification and execution”.
What the Presidency is saying
In a tweet, a media aide to President Tinubu explained the situation surrounding the Nigeria-UAE deal.
He said diplomatic/bilateral agreements “is simply a contract through which two countries exchange promises to perform”. He said:
- “I think it is wrong-headed to indulge in any fact-checking expedition without first having basic knowledge of the subject.
- In diplomacy, when two leaders engage and reach a deal on any issue at the bilateral level, as our President and UAE President did, the next is for concerned officials of both countries, at the ministerial level, to hammer out the details of the agreement for ratification and execution.
- That President Tinubu and his counterpart in UAE agreed to lift of visa ban on Nigerians and resumption of flights between the two countries does not mean Etihad, Emirates and Air Peace Airlines will start boarding passengers the next day.
- A diplomatic/bilateral agreement is simply a contract through which two countries exchange promises to perform. One country’s promise will only serve as consideration for the promise of the other – Nigeria and UAE, in this instance.”
UAE silent on the issue
According to a statement from the UAE foreign ministry on Tinubu’s visit to the Gulf state, there was no mention of any agreements on lifting visas for Nigerians.
Also, there was no mention of flight resumption of Emirates and Etihad airlines between the two countries as stated by the SA to the President.
At the core of the statement, the UAE Foreign Ministry said:
- “The UAE President and Nigerian President explored opportunities for further bilateral collaboration in areas that serve both countries’ sustainable economic growth, including the economic, development, energy, and climate action fields.
- The two sides also exchanged views on several regional and international developments of interest.”
Nairametrics had reported that President Bola Tinubu and the President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Monday in Abu Dhabi, finalized a historic agreement, which has resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travellers.
Official Spokesperson to President Tinubu, Ajuri Ngelale had said in a statement that following the agreement by both countries on the lifting of the visa ban,
- “Both Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines are to immediately resume flight schedules into and out of Nigeria, without any further delay.”