By Nimi Princewill, CNN
Abuja, Nigeria (CNN) — The United Arab Emirates has lifted a year-long visa ban imposed on Nigerian travelers, authorities in the West African country said Monday.
The restriction placed by the UAE last October was lifted following negotiations between Nigeria’s new President Bola Tinubu and UAE leader Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Both men met earlier on Monday in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi and concluded what the Nigerian government described as “a historic agreement” that will also pave the way for the immediate resumption of flights between both countries.
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Monday in Abu Dhabi, have finalized a historic agreement, which has resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travelers,” a statement by Nigeria’s presidential spokesman Ajuri Ngelale said.
“Furthermore, by this historic agreement, both Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines are to immediately resume flight schedules into and out of Nigeria, without any further delay,” the statement added.
Flights between both countries were stopped last year after Dubai’s Emirates airline suspended its operations in Nigeria citing trapped revenues.
The UAE’s Dubai emirate has been a popular destination for Nigerian travelers for many years but visas to the West Africans and nationals of 19 other African states were halted last year for undisclosed reasons.
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