The government of United Arab Emirates (UAE) has failed to indicate whether it lifted its visa ban on Nigerians as reported by the Nigerian government after a meeting between President Bola Tinubu and Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Monday.
While Ajuri Ngelale, the spokesman for President Tinubu said on Monday that the UAE government had agreed to lift visa ban on Nigerians, the country’s leading carriers, Emirates and Etihad airlines would resume flight operations to the country, this was not reflected in UAE’s version of what was discussed during the meeting.
A statement posted on the website of UAE Embassy in Nigeria said during the meeting, which took place at Qasr Al Shati in Abu Dhabi, “His Highness Sheikh Mohamed renewed his congratulations to Tinubu on assuming the presidency earlier this year, and wished him every success in leading Nigeria and its people to further progress and prosperity.”
According to the statement, “His Highness expressed his hope that the two leaders will work together to reinforce ties between the UAE and Nigeria for the benefit of both countries.
“The UAE President and Nigerian President explored opportunities for further bilateral collaboration in areas that serve both countries’ sustainable economic growth, including the economic, development, energy, and climate action fields.
“The two sides also exchanged views on a number of regional and international developments of interest.
“The meeting discussed the upcoming COP28 climate conference set to take place in the UAE later this year, with both parties stressing the vital importance of encouraging and enabling international cooperation to tackle global issues, including climate change.
“His Highness underscored the UAE’s ongoing commitment to fostering ties with countries that share the same aspirations for stability, sustainable growth, and development and prosperity for their people. He further emphasised the particular importance the UAE attaches to its relationship with Nigeria, within the framework of its strategic vision for relations with the African continent.
“The President of Nigeria expressed his pleasure to be visiting the UAE and affirmed his country’s keenness to further enhance bilateral cooperation to support sustainable development and progress in both countries.
“The meeting was attended by His Highness 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 meeting was also attended by the delegation accompanying the Nigerian President, which included a number of ministers and high-ranking officials.”