The United Arab Emirates has refuted a statement made by the Nigerian government that it has lifted the visa ban imposed on Nigerian travellers, CNN is reporting.
The media source who cited an unnamed official from the Gulf on Friday said the visa ban in which it was imposed on Nigerians in October of last year still stands.
The UAE government banned Nigeria and 19 other African countries. It, however, did not give any more information.
“There are no changes on the Nigeria/UAE travel status so far,” the CNN source stated.
This disclaimer comes days after a statement issued by Ajuri Ngelale, the presidential spokesperson that the UAE had lifted its visa ban on Nigerians.
The presidency said the decision was made after President Bola Tinubu met with Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE president, in Abu Dhabi, on Monday.
The news, which topped major newspaper headlines, elicited a wide reaction from many Nigerians, especially travel agents who had welcomed the development for tourists who hoped to visit the glittering city of Dubia in the Emirate.
But hours later on Monday, the UAE government released a statement in which it stated that both leaders had “explored opportunities for further bilateral collaboration” during their meeting with a view to “reinforcing ties between the UAE and Nigeria,” but it made no mention of the removal of the visa embargo or the resumption of flights.
Mr Ajuri, In response to the national outpouring, stated that authorities from both countries required more time to finalise agreement specifics, contradicting his previous stance.
He said, “Given the agreement struck between the two Heads of State, there is need to allow cabinet officials from both sides to work out the finer details and finalize the cross-sectoral agreements.
“Everyone can now allow the process to work itself out organically, devoid of speculation.”