An official of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government has denied the country’s government lifted a visa ban it placed on Nigerian travellers in 2022.
Earlier on Friday, a UAE official who asked not to be named told CNN: ”There are no changes on the Nigeria/UAE travel status so far.”
This contradicts the position of the Nigerian government.
The country’s presidency had released a statement on Monday claiming both parties agreed to the lifting of the visa ban on Nigerians immediately.
In October 2022, the UAE released a statement saying it would no longer issue visas to Nigerian nationals and citizens of 19 other African countries. This move garnered mixed reactions from Nigerians, but the arab nation did not provide more information on the reason for the ban.
The presidency’s Monday statement signed by Ajuri Ngelale, President Bola Tinubu’s spokesman, painted a picture of diplomatic success that culminated in the lifting of the ban and restoration of flight operations between both countries.
That statement read in part, “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Monday in Abu Dhabi, have finalised a historic agreement, which has resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travelers.
“Furthermore, by this historic agreement, both Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines are to immediately resume flight schedules into and out of Nigeria, without any further delay.”
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When the UAE released their account of the events of the same meeting, they said that both parties “explored opportunities for further bilateral collaboration” with the hope of “reinforcing ties between the UAE and Nigeria.” It did not confirm what the Nigerian government said about the visa ban.