Ex-lawmaker hails Tinubu’s intervention in Nigeria/UAE airline visa dispute

A former member of the House of Representatives, Robinson Uwak, on Sunday, commended President Bola Tinubu on his move to resolve Nigeria’s dispute with the United Arab Emirate (UAE)’s Airline and its visa issuance.

Uwak, in a statement, said President Tinubu’s move would reopen that corridor for Nigerians, who usually visit UAE for business and leisure and deepen the cooperation between both nations.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Emirates Airline had, in October 2022, suspended its operations in Nigeria over allegations that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) failed to approve for the repatriation of backlog of funds accruing to its operations in the country.

Tinubu had, on Aug. 25, while receiving the ambassador of the UAE, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi in Abuja, promised to personally intervene in the dispute and amicably resolve it.

Uwak said the two countries ought to sustain their cooperation with reference to the reports that Nigerians spend an estimated N3.3 billion weekly ($381m per year) on flights to the UAE with Emirates Airlines, the UAE flag carrier, having the lion’s share of that amount.

“Nigeria as a leading market in Africa should have equal access to the other big markets in the globe for trade and investment and leisure activities,” he said.

NAN reports that President Tinubu, while receiving Al-Shamsi, had said: “We must work together. We need to agree on core aviation and immigration issues,” in a statement signed by his media aide, Ajuri Ngelale.

Al-Shamsi was also quoted in the same statement to have said: “We are getting somewhere. These are small issues, all within a family, and they will be resolved.”

Source: News Agency of Nigeria