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UAE to commence visa issuance to Nigerians from October 8

From Thursday, October 8, 2020, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will commence visa issuance to Nigerians as the government of both countries have resolved their reciprocity issues.

Nigeria’s aviation minister, Hadi Sirika made the announcement through his Twitter handle on Tuesday.

“UAE confirmed that they will begin issuance of Visas from 8th of October, 2020,” Sirika tweeted by 10:48 pm WAT.

As part of the new requirements for obtaining the UAE visa, the aviation minister said: “travelers to have a return ticket, hotel booking, negative PCR result & a Health insurance (similar to Schengen requirement).” He, however, explained that health insurance can be paid through travel agents or airlines.

The decision by the UAE to commence visa issuance to Nigerians is coming after Nigeria’s government barred Emirates Airlines from operating in Africa’s largest economy.

On September 30, 2020, Sirika announced that Nigeria had decided to allow Emirates to fly into the country after the UAE informed the government that it has agreed to issue visas to Nigerians.

Nigerian Government had reciprocated to UAE’s refusal to lift visa ban on Nigerians and as a result, withdrew the approval given to Emirates to operate into the country.

In a tweet then, Sirika had explained that the decision to revoke the approval was arrived at after a meeting the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had with European Union Ambassadors, who wanted to review their status.
“The PTF subcommittee met today with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban. The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’s situation was reviewed & they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday the 21st Sept. 2020,” he had tweeted.

This came following the Federal Government resolve two months ago to enforce the principle of reciprocity in granting permission to airlines to resume operations.

Before the resumption of international flights in the country, the Federal Government had announced that Air France, KLM, Etihad, RwandAir, Air Namibia, Royal Air Maroc, Lufthansa, TAAG Angola Airlines were not approved to commence flight operations.

Cabo Verde and South African airlines were also denied approval as international flights had yet to resume in their countries.

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