In a high-profile meeting between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, held on Monday, the UAE has made no mention of lifting the visa ban that had been imposed on Nigerian travelers. This meeting took place as part of President Tinubu’s working visit to the UAE, where discussions covered various aspects of bilateral cooperation.
The visa ban had been in effect for ten months, impacting Nigerian travelers and leading to the suspension of flights by Etihad and Emirates Airlines. While a statement from the Nigerian Presidential spokesperson, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, had initially indicated positive outcomes from the meeting, the official announcement from the UAE did not confirm the lifting of the visa ban.
The UAE’s official news agency, Emirates News Agency, reported that during the meeting at Qasr Al Shati in Abu Dhabi, President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan congratulated President Tinubu on his assumption of the Nigerian presidency earlier this year. President Nahyan expressed his hopes for the success of President Tinubu’s leadership and emphasized the importance of strengthening ties between the UAE and Nigeria.
Discussions between the two leaders encompassed opportunities for bilateral collaboration in areas such as economic growth, development, energy, and climate action. They also exchanged views on regional and international developments, including the upcoming COP28 climate conference, which will be hosted by the UAE.
President Nahyan highlighted the UAE’s commitment to fostering relations with countries that share common goals of stability, sustainable growth, and development. He emphasized the UAE’s strategic vision for relations with the African continent, underscoring the importance of its relationship with Nigeria.
President Tinubu expressed his pleasure at visiting the UAE and affirmed Nigeria’s keenness to enhance bilateral cooperation for mutual sustainable development and progress.
The meeting saw the participation of high-ranking officials from both sides, including Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of the Presidential Court; Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Advisor for Special Affairs at the Ministry of Presidential Court; Dr. Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Adviser to the UAE President; Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation; Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure; Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; and Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
The Nigerian President was accompanied by a delegation consisting of several ministers and high-ranking officials, indicating the importance of the meeting for both nations.
While the meeting addressed various aspects of cooperation between the UAE and Nigeria, it remains to be seen whether the visa ban imposed on Nigerian travelers will be lifted, as no official confirmation regarding this matter was included in the UAE’s statement.