The Presidency has assured that it won’t be business as usual with respect to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) visa applications and processing following the lifting of the visa ban on Nigerians by the Middle East country.
This was made known by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, when he featured as a guest on a Channels Television programme, Politics Today, moments after the deal between President Bola Tinubu and his UAE counterpart Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Ngelale said things will be done differently to address some loopholes that caused the visa ban, adding that the agreement between the 2 countries comes with mutual responsibility.
No more free lunch
- Ngelale said, “Every agreement comes with mutual responsibility. There is no free lunch. What I mean by that is the notion that floodgates will open up and we go back to business as usual. That is not what Nigerians should expect. I want to be very clear about this so that everybody can understand.’’
Speaking further, he noted that
- “one of the major challenges of the bilateral relationship with regards to visa applications, visa processing and with respect to Nigerians being able to migrate to the UAE for example, was the fact that there was a laxity on the part of certain visa process or certain applications that were being made that it created a lack of specificity and lack of diligent evaluation with respect to who is travelling to the UAE and why they are travelling.
- “And this is why we had issues. Just a few bad eggs among our people giving a bad name to all of us which was a major sticking point as to how we got to this point. So, what we have done as part of this process is to put in place measures to ensure there is effective diligence done on the part of both sides.”
In case you missed it
- Recall that earlier on Monday, September 11, in Abu Dhabi, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Monday in Abu Dhabi finalized a historic agreement, which resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travellers.
- Furthermore, by this historic agreement, both Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines are to immediately resume flight schedules in and out of Nigeria, without any further delay.
- The visa ban on Nigerians was lifted by the UAE almost one year after the decision following an intervention by President Tinubu who met with the UAE leader.
- A statement by the Presidency also added that as negotiated between the two heads of state, the restoration of flight activities does not involve any immediate payment by the Nigerian government.