No travel restrictions on Nigeria, UAE clarifies


The United Arab Emirates has dismissed reports that it placed travel restrictions on Nigerians, stressing that this was not true.

The UAE embassy in Abuja in a statement on Thursday affirmed the growing bilateral relations between the Arab nation and Nigeria.

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE explained that it took a number of precautionary measures to combat the virus’ spread, including the temporary suspension on issuing UAE visas for all nationalities as of March 17, 2020.

“After entering the recovery phase of the pandemic, the UAE eased some measures on July 7, permitting visitors from various countries to adhere to the necessary precautionary measures, including by showing negative PCR test results within 92 hours of travelling to the UAE. This includes those visiting from Nigeria,” it said.

However, the mission disclosed that travel between the UAE and Nigeria has remained limited due to the closure of Nigerian airspace, noting that the UAE authorities have continued to work closely with the Federal Government to obtain the necessary approvals to facilitate travel between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the FG has explained the delay in the evacuation of Nigerian students from Saudi Arabia.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was never in the picture of the failed planned evacuation.

The students had accused the ministry, the Nigerian mission in Riyadh and the Consulate General of Nigeria in Jeddah of refusing to facilitate their evacuation to Nigeria since May 15.

But the ministry spokesperson, Mr Ferdinand Nwoye, in a statement said Saudi Airlines that was contracted for the evacuation did not inform the embassy of the dates or sought for approvals from Nigeria through the established diplomatic means.

Nwoye stated that the claim of abandonment by the students was misleading.

The statement read in part, “Though the Saudi Airlines fixed 8th July and 1st August 2020, respectively, the airline never informed the embassy of the dates or sought for approval of the proposed dates from Nigeria either through the Embassy of Nigeria in Riyadh or the Consulate General of Nigeria in Jeddah, which is against the spirit of established diplomatic protocols, hence the inability to operate the said flights.”

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