Based on the undertaking by the authorities of the United Arabs Emirates (UAE), the Nigerian government has agreed to lift the ban placed on Emirates Airlines from operating flights in the country.
According to Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, the commencement of the airline’s operations would however depend on the commencement of visa issuance to Nigerians by the UAE.
“UAE has written to state that they agree to issue visas to Nigerians, consequently decision has been reached to allow Emirates to fly into Nigeria. Commencement of the visa issuance is a condition. Please bear with this unusual situation,” Sirika said.
He appreciated the understanding of everyone who had been negatively affected by the recent policy decisions which forbade some airlines from operating into the country when Nigeria reopened its airspace to international flights.
A statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation, James Odaudu, explained that the decisions were taken to protect the interests of the nation and its citizens who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, same way Nigeria treats other nationals.
It will be recalled that Emirates Airlines was initially given approval to operate into the country, an approval which was withdrawn following the inability of Nigerians to obtain or use valid tourist visas to the UAE.
By Chinedu Eze