The federal government says efforts are in progress to resolve the issues Nigerians are experiencing with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) visa.
The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo disclosed this at the closing ceremony of the 7th African Aviation Summit in Abuja on Thursday, September 14, 2023.
He said it was crucial for airlines operating between Nigeria and the UAE to have reciprocal rights as per the Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA).
He also stressed the importance of balanced and fair treatment between both countries.
On the visa issues, Keyamo said: “We are working the details out. When two countries agree at the very top level then of course all the government operatives will begin to work out the tiny details. So, we are beginning to work out all the tiny details. I met with Emirate before I left UAE, I met with Etihad before I left UAE and we are working out the details.
The time frame, we cannot say the time frame. Kicking off an airline operation again on a route, it is not that you will go and grab one empty plane sitting in a place. There is no idle plane sitting anywhere, they have to reschedule their flights, restart their routes again, and all kinds of things. All kinds of permission will be taken from local authorities and of course, I made the point in speaking with them and I made it clear that they will have to give our airlines reciprocal rights under our BASA.
That is the point I insisted on, and they did say that any spot we need, they will give us as much as we give them those spots within Nigeria.”
It should be recalled that on Monday, September 11, 2023, the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity revealed in a statement that Pres. Bola Tinubu secured immediate cessation of the UAE Visa ban on Nigerians among other historic agreements.