The United Arab Emirates said it is ready to begin issuing of visa to Nigerians, just as President Muhamadu Buhari Government has lifted the ban on Emirates Airline flights into the country.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who made this known on Wednesday, disclosed that the lifting of ban was to allow Emirates Airlines resume operations in Nigeria
His post on his Twitter handle read: “UAE has written to state that they agree to issue visas to Nigerians, consequently decision has been reached to allow Emirates to fly into Nigeria.
“Commencement of the Visa issuance is condition precedent. Please bear with this unusual situation. Many thanks.”
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The Federal Government had on September 21, 2020, banned Emirates Airlines from operating in the country.
While it took that decision, Sirika also made it known that there were discussions on the ban on Lufthansa and Air France-KLM.
Just as it was the practice in other countries of the world when international flight operations were suspended consequent upon COVID-19 lockdown, Nigerian government had said it would also apply the rule of reciprocity before giving approval to international airlines to operate in the country.
As a result, some of the international airlines affected include, Air France, KLM, Etihad Airways, RwandAir, Air Namibia, Royal Air Maroc, Lufthansa, Cabo Verde, TAAG Angola and South African Airways.
The reason Serika gave for not granting approval to fly to Air France and KLM airlines was because “tourist visa’s holders are not allowed entry” in their originating countries.