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We have resolved visa ban with UAE – Festus Keyamo

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We will address begging in our airports- Keyamo

Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has again disclosed that Tinubu-led administration has resolved the visa ban imposed on all Nigerians by the United Arab Emirates.

 

Festus Keyamo said President Tinubu’s administration is committed to addressing bilateral trade issues between Nigeria and the Gulf countries for the benefit of Nigerians.

 

Keyamo said while reacting to call by former Aviation Minister, on his announcement on Thursday, May 16, that Emirates Airlines would commence flights into the country after suspending flight operations in October 2022.

 

Osita Chidoka had on Wednesday, May 22, disagreed with accepting Emirates Airlines into Nigeria routes without sanction. Chidoka said Nigeria must protect her sovereignty and national pride which has been demeaned by the UAE through visa ban and Emirates Airlines’ suspension of flight operations into Nigeria. Read more

 

Keyamo said Chidoka’s request was not in the interest of Nigeria. He added that the benefits of the resumption of flight operations by Emirates Airlines would open room for Air Peace to operate in UAE’s airspace.

 

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“For the avoidance of doubt, this Government is focused on fostering healthy relationships with major partners around the world for the ultimate benefits of Nigerians. Considering the huge investments and interests of Nigerians in the UAE, should we continue to engage in ‘Bolekaja’ (motor park) diplomacy capable of hurting the interests of Nigerians?

 

“Will the imminent return of Emirates to Nigeria and in reciprocal manner, AIRPEACE returning to operating that route, not lead to better competition which will ultimately crash the present high fares on that route? Who will benefit more? How many Emiratis visit Nigeria and invest here as much as Nigerians visit the UAE and invest there? Have you bothered to ask about the lifting of the visa ban before issuing your warped statement?” Keyamo stated in his response to the former Aviation Minister and PDP chieftain.

 

On the visa ban against Nigerians by the UAE government, Keyamo said President Tinubu-led federal government had addressed it. He said the announcement would soon be made. “For your information, that has been resolved too and the announcement is imminent,” he disclosed.

 

Keyamo further chided Chidoka, “Rather than craftily resorting to the card of false nationalism in pursuit of cheap political points, you should have told Nigerians the economic disadvantages Nigeria stand to suffer, if any, as a result of the commendable effort of the Tinubu administration to straighten our relations with our friends in the UAE.”