Despite the appeal made by President Muhammadu Buhari, the United Arab Emirates has disclosed that it would not lift the visa ban imposed on Nigerians since October 2022.
The visa ban, however, does not affect persons holding diplomatic passports.
Buhari, last month, had appealed to his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayad Al Nahyan, to remove the visa ban on Nigerians in a telephone conversation whose content was relayed by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu.
The Nigerian president, via the phone, disclosed that he had given instructions to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to increase the amount of foreign exchange allocated to the Emirates Airlines, the bane of the now-resolved months-long diplomatic row between the two nations and as a show of goodwill towards the Arab nation.
Since the phone conversation took place nearly a month ago and with Buhari’s presidency ending in June, the UAE appears uninterested in his offer and has remained silent on the matter.
Instead, the UAE has said the travel restrictions on Nigerians and other Africans accused of constituting unrest in its territory through cultism and other illegal activities stay.
It remains unclear whether Buhari will continue to persuade the Sheikh to remove the ban before his presidency expires or whether he will leave the incoming president, Bola Tinubu, to shoulder that responsibility.