Wants Removal of Visa Ban on Nigerians –
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to increase the amount of foreign currency due to Emirates Airlines to enable the airline resume its flights back into Nigeria.
Emirates Airline suspended flights into Nigeria because it was unable to repatriate funds it earned from flight tickets in Nigeria.
Buhari spoke with the leader of the United Arab Emirates(UAE) on Monday and requested the resumption of Emirates flight to Nigeria and the lifting of the visa ban on Nigerians by the UAE.
Foreign airlines including Emirates Airlines, have been having issues repatriating their funds due to shortage of foreign currency in Nigeria. Emirates have twice suspended flights to Nigeria because of the issue.
The situation got to a peak in late 2022 when the CBN released $265million to airlines. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) had flagged Nigeria as one country blocking the repatriation of millions of dollars in revenue for airlines.
Nigeria faced this shortage because of oil, which is the major foreign currency earner for the country had been stolen in huge volumes in the Niger Delta.
However, the theft has since abated following a security operation which targeted the thieves and their infrastructure.
It is believed that the new moves will help entice Emirates Airlines to restart their numerous flights back to Nigeria and convince the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to remove the visa ban placed on Nigerians. Recall that the UAE recently announced a ban on new visas for Nigerians hoping to travel to the tourism and trade hotspot of the Middle East.