‘He made my job easier’ — Keyamo hails Tinubu for ending Nigeria, UAE diplomatic row



Festus Keyamo, minister of aviation and aerospace development, has hailed President Bola Tinubu for bringing an end to the diplomatic row between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


Since 2021, UAE and Nigeria have been engaging in a diplomatic row over issues involving flight allocations and travel bans.


In December 2021, the UAE banned airlines from airlifting Nigerian passengers into the Emirates.


The UAE had claimed that the ban was due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.


Before the travel ban, UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) had approved a slot of three weekly flights from Nigeria to Sharjah Airport. The single flight was approved for Air Peace.


In retaliation to the UAE’s treatment of Air Peace, the federal government dropped the Emirates’ slots from 21 to one.


The move made the Dubai-based airline suspend all its flights to Nigeria.


In October 2022, the UAE imposed a visa ban on Nigerians after a diplomatic row.


On Monday, the UAE lifted the visa ban imposed on Nigerian travellers.


The decision was reached after President Bola Tinubu met with Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE president, in Abu Dhabi.


Ajuri Ngelale, the presidential spokesperson, said in a statement that Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines are to “immediately resume flight schedules into and out of Nigeria without any further delay”.


Reacting to the development, Keyamo in a post on his X page said Tinubu’s “Midas touch” has made his job easier.


“Special thanks to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu @officialABAT for personally leading our delegation to end this impasse with the UAE,” Keyamo said.


“All credit goes to him. His Midas touch during the discussion was crucial. He just made my job easier!”


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