The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Ajuri Ngelale, has said Nigerians shouldn’t expect “business as usual” while talking about the lifting of the visa ban by the United Arab Emirates on Nigerian travellers.
In October 2022, the UAE banned nationals of about 20 African countries, including Nigeria, from entering its borders.
But on Monday, the UAE lifted the months-long visa ban on Nigerians, after Tinubu paid a visit to his UAE counterpart, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi.
Both presidents were able to finalise a “historic agreement,” which resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travellers.
Consequently, both Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines were ordered to immediately resume flight schedules into and out of Nigeria, without any further delay, Ngelale said.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen, Ngelale said that a major challenge in the bilateral relationship between both countries with regard to visa processes or applications was due to a laxity which further resulted in a “lack of diligent evaluation” of people who are going to the UAE and reasons they travel.
The presidential media aide added that, “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.”
Ngelale mentioned that certain measures had been put in place to ensure that effective diligence was done by both nations.