• Friday, April 12, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Nigerians in UAE react to false reports of travel ban lift, await visa status clarification

Nigerians in UAE react to false reports of travel ban lift, await visa status clarification

Nigerians residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are grappling with mixed emotions following the debunking of news suggesting that the UAE government has lifted its travel ban on Nigerian citizens.

Initially met with hope and optimism, the false reports have served as a painful reminder of the challenges many Nigerians have endured for nearly three years. Folashade Oluyinka, speaking to Channels News, expressed her frustration after jubilating over the false letter released on social media. She stated, “People here are wishing for this news to be true because it is almost three years since the visa has been banned. So many people have gone back to Nigeria, and some that are here are not finding it easy in any way.”

Tella Gideon echoed similar sentiments, highlighting the collective frustration among Nigerians in the UAE. “Nigerians are frustrated because it has been a long time now. Everybody is waiting for good news and then we hear something and it is confirmed false. Definitely, people are frustrated. I am frustrated as well,” he lamented.

Nicole Nwachie shared her disappointment upon realising the news was false. “Realising yesterday that the news was false really dashed my hope beyond what I have ever felt before. Because it seemed verified yesterday, my level of disappointment was worse than anything,” Nwachie expressed.

The misinformation regarding the lifting of the travel ban has been attributed to President Tinubu’s special adviser on information and strategy, Bayo Onanuga. Onanuga clarified that the fake document announcing the “visa ban removal” had not been authorised by any government official.

In a separate development, Nigerians who have overstayed, absconded, or obtained amnesty in the UAE have noticed changes in their visa statuses. Specifically, the abscond label has been removed from every Nigerian visa. This update, confirmed by multiple sources, comes as a relief to many Nigerians who had been negatively impacted by the visa restrictions.

According to the reports, even if the abscond is removed and one does not reapply or have the status changed to a new visa, the abscond/overstay will still be reversed until it is renewed.