FG tackles UAE over visa ban, flight restriction

The Federal Government may have initiated moves to battle the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over its visa ban and flight restriction against Nigeria.

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele yesterday expressed displeasure over the decision of the UAE to impose a visa ban on Nigerians as well as stop Emirates Airline from flying into the country.

He said Nigeria is a big market for their business, adding that they should not continue to threaten the country over little disagreements.

The CBN governor spoke at a meeting convened by the leadership of the House of Representatives to resolve the $700 million of trapped funds of foreign airlines operating in the country.

Also piqued by the action of the UAE, Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika said Nigeria did not care if the UAE decided to shut out the country.

He said though he sympathized with the foreign airlines over the trapped funds, there was no ground for threatening the country with such a measure.

The Director General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) at Kuru in Jos, Plateau State, Professor Ayo Omotayo, also expressed dismay over the visa ban slammed on Nigerians seeking to visit Dubai by the United Arab Emirate (UAE).

He said: “I have been to Dubai several times. I don’t see any big deal going to Dubai. As Nigerians who have self-pride, we should ban ourselves from going to Dubai. Is it the hotels or the sea that is not anywhere else in the world? I don’t think we should be at the mercy of any country.”



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