Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), has commended President Bola Tinubu for his rapid diplomatic efforts, which successfully led to the removal of the visa ban imposed on Nigerians traveling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the restoration of flight operations by Etihad and Emirates Airlines in Nigeria.
In a statement released today by Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Head of Media and Public Relations of the Commission, this breakthrough in diplomacy brings immense relief to Nigerians working in the UAE who faced the challenge of renewing their work permits.
Dabiri-Erewa expressed her optimism that this diplomatic triumph would foster a renewed sense of collaboration and friendship between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates. Beyond the ban’s lifting and the return of flights, she emphasized that the discussions laid a solid foundation for substantial investments across various sectors in Nigeria.
The NIDCOM chief, inundated with calls from jubilant Nigerians residing in the UAE, urged them to continue serving as exemplary ambassadors of their homeland.
This diplomatic success comes after over a year of strained relations between the two nations due to unresolved differences, which had inflicted hardships on both traveling Nigerians and those residing in the UAE.
The diplomatic discussions led to the following key outcomes:
Immediate Lifting of Visa Ban: The UAE has lifted the visa ban placed on Nigerian travelers, facilitating easier movement between the two countries.
Flight Resumption: Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines are set to resume flight schedules into and out of Nigeria without immediate payments required from the Nigerian government.
Bilateral Investments: Both nations have agreed on a framework for substantial investments worth several billion U.S. dollars into various sectors in Nigeria, including defense and agriculture.
Foreign Exchange Liquidity Programme: A new joint foreign exchange liquidity program will be established between Nigeria and the UAE, with details to be announced in the coming weeks.
Enhanced Relations: The commitment to normalize and strengthen relations between Nigeria and the UAE is underpinned by the collaboration between President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
This diplomatic feat underscores the significance of skilled diplomacy in resolving international disputes and promoting cooperation, highlighting Nigeria’s growing influence on the global stage.