President Muhammadu Buhari has made a special appeal to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities to lift the blanket visa ban placed on Nigerians.

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The president made the appeal to lift the visa bank on Monday, during a telephone conversation with the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who doubles as the Emir of Abu Dhabi.

According to a Press Release yesterday, by presidential spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari had called Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to condole with him on the death of his mother-in-law, Sheikha Maryam Al Falasi, during which important issues of mutual concerns between the two countries came up.

According to the Presidential aide, the president requested his UAE counterpart to review the blanket visa ban imposed on Nigerians intending to travel to the UAE.

He recalled that mutually beneficial excellent relations hav subsisted between the two nations over many years, symbolized by robust economic interactions and regular consultations on matters of common interest, including engagements at the highest political levels.

Buhari, noted that recent irritants in bilateral relations generated by consular issues relating to the behaviour of some Nigerians in the UAE were being ironed out, explaining that no country including Nigeria would condone criminalities and illegal behaviours.

He therefore expressed the readiness of the Government of Nigeria to apply necessary sanctions through appropriate judicial process against anyone identified to have committed criminal acts in the UAE, urging that the issue be allowed to be handled by the relevant security/intelligence agencies of the two countries and to come up with lasting solutions to the problems associated with criminalities and illegalities.

Buhari also requested a resumption of the suspended operations of Emirates Airline in the country.

Recall that Emirates Airline had suspended its operations in Nigeria in 2022, due to its inability to repatriate funds trapped in Nigeria.