August 25, 2023

I’ll intervene in issue with Emirates Airline, UAE visa issuance — Tinubu

Tinubu to Envoys: Only homegrown solutions 'll solve African problems

President Bola Tinubu (2nd left) wirth Salem Saeed Alshamsi(left), Ambassador-designate of the United Arab Emirates to Nigeria, and other government officials. STATE HOUSE PHOTO.

By Prince Okafor

President Bola Tinubu, yesterday, said he was ready to personally intervene in the issues with Emirates Airline and the issuance of United Arab Emirates, UAE, visa to Nigerians.

The President also said African countries have a better chance of overcoming economic and security challenges by looking inward for solutions and walking the talk on all of its pledges and agreements.

Tinubu said these while receiving letters of credence from three envoys at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The diplomats were Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Mr. Awall Wagris Mohammed; Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba, Mrs. Miriam Morales Palmero, and Ambassador of United Arab EmirateS, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi.

Recall that United Arab Emirates, UAE, flag carrier, Emirates Airline, suspended its operations in Nigeria last October, following the company’s inability to repatriate over $85 million blocked fund.

Subsequently, the government in a notice made available to Vanguard, slammed a visa ban on Nigerians seeking to visit Dubai.

They said the rejections are general for Nigerians and approvals are on hold at the moment.

Also, there would be no refund for rejected applications.

These were the issues President Tinubu told the UAE ambassador that he would personally intervene.

President Tinubu, in a statement by Ajuri Ngelale, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, said: “Africans need to work for the progress of Africa.

“We should be able to resolve our internal problems, collectively. It requires a great commitment, but we must do that.

“No one can understand our people better than we do. Home-grown solutions are better for all of us, and the remedies will last longer.”

While receiving the UAE ambassador, the President directed that issues affecting relations with the Emirates Airline, and issuance of visas to Nigerians should be “immediately’’ resolved.

He emphasised that he stands prepared to “personally” intervene.

Tinubu told the ambassador: “We are a family with UAE. We only live in separate rooms, but we are in the same house.

“We should look at the issues as a family problem, and resolve it amicably. As you know in every family, there are peculiarities.

“You can have an erring son, or daughter, but we must work together. We need to agree on core aviation and immigration issues.”