Keyamo: FG, UAE to Resolve Visa Ban

Festus Keyamo, Aviation Minister

Festus Keyamo, Aviation Minister

Chinedu Eze

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, yesterday, disclosed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities have concluded plan to lift the travel barriers between it and Nigeria.

Keyamo, attributed the federal government’s efforts at fostering a good relationship with the government of the UAE to the need to protect the interests of millions of Nigerians who have investments and other businesses in the Arab country.

Keyamo, dropped this hint during a brief chat with some Nigerian journalists at the welcome dinner to the International Air Transport Organization (IATA) ongoing 80th Annual General Meeting sponsored by Emirates Airlines in Dubai.

Keyamo, whose presence at the event as the representative of the federal government was well-hyped by the UAE authorities, arrived with a high-powered delegates of the UAE led by the ruler, Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum.

In a brief chat with journalists, Keyamo said he was in Dubai to foster the already existing relationship between the UAE and Nigeria as established by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

According to Keyamo: “As always, what we are doing is to make sure we foster very healthy relationships across the world. That is what this government is all about, with help to foster the relationship laid already by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu with the UAE.

“The UAE is considered as a very important partner in Nigeria. Nigerians have a lot of stakes here in the UAE with a lot of investments.

“What we are doing is to make sure that we make it easy for millions of Nigerians who have put a lot of pressure on us to ensure that we open up this route again and secondly to make the visa application easier.

“I am sure you can see the way I was received here. That is to tell you how they value Nigeria. I was with the same ride with the Minister and the head of Emirates Group and all the top shots of Emirates. There was no any other person given that privilege here; that is to tell you how much they value us and they want Nigeria to see it in that light.”

Speaking further, he said: “They have opened up again to us. They have started to trust us again and I want to say thank you to them. I will take it from here on.”

Asked how the two countries resolved the difficulty faced by Nigerians in obtaining the UAE visa, the minister declared: “The issue of visa has been resolved just the announcement remaining. They want to dot the ‘is and cross the Ts’. The announcement will be in a couple of weeks.”

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