Nigerians React To Tinubu’s Historic Trip To Abu Dhabi
By PHC Telegraph
Peter Ayodele Fayose, former Governor of Ekiti, has expressed profound satisfaction with President Bola Tinubu, over his effort in ensuring the speedy restoration of ties between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirate, UAE.
Tinubu who has suddenly stepped into the global spotlight had flown straight from India where he had been for one week as a guest of the G20 nations to the UAE on a diplomatic mission.
Fayose said he is pleased that the frosty relationship between the two countries which was approximately one year old and which resulted to the visa ban has been removed.
“Resolution of the diplomatic row between Nigeria and the the UAE is no doubt heart-warming.
“Allowing a diplomatic row that resulted in the imposition of visa ban on Nigerians and suspension of flights to Nigeria by Emirates, the UAE’s national carrier since October 2022, is no doubt a sour taste in the mouths of many Nigerians whose businesses are tied to the UAE”, Fayose observed.
He added, “Therefore, resolving such a diplomatic deadlock in just one visit to the UAE shows that President Tinubu has come to renew the hopes of Nigerians.”
In his reaction, Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Aviation Minister said Tinubu has achieved in a few days, what President Muhammadu Buhari could not achieve in all the years he served the nation.
Earlier, Tinubu had taken to X formerly known as Twitter to break the news of the breakthrough to Nigerians soon after the two leaders emerged from the talks.
“Today, in unity with my friend, UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan @MohamedBinZayed , we have initiated a new era of collaboration and friendship between our nations – Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates”, Tinubu disclosed.
“We’ve also laid a robust foundation for substantial investments in various sectors in Nigeria, a testament to our shared vision for a prosperous future.
“Together, we are committed to building bridges and fostering a friendship that stands the test of time. As part of our discussions, the following have been reached:
* Immediate lifting of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travelers by the UAE.
* Resumption of flight schedules into and out of Nigeria by Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines, without any immediate payment required from the Nigerian government.
* An agreed framework for new investments worth several billions of U.S. dollars into the Nigerian economy by the UAE government, covering multiple sectors including defense and agriculture.
* A joint, new foreign exchange liquidity programme between Nigeria and the UAE, details of which will be announced in the coming weeks.
* A commitment to normalize and enhance the relations between the two countries, fostered by the collaboration between myself and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
At home and in the diaspora, Nigerians welcomed the news of Tinubu’s diplomatic breakthrough in Abu Dhabi.
The resumption of flights and the lifting of the visa ban were not the only reasons why Nigerians broke into jubilation.
Nigerian carriers cut out of the lucrative route were factored into the negotiations. They will operate flights into the UAE in line with aviation rules which recognise the principle of reciprocity.
Nigerian businessmen whose investments have been hurt by the diplomatic row can now heave sighs of relief.
“Now that President Bola Tinubu has resolved the UAE visa ban on the Nigerian passport”, Reno Omokri, a former aide of President Goodluck Jonathan said on X, “please let us be on our best behaviour. Don’t be the one who spoils it for the rest of us.”
Omokri further cautioned, “Sadly, we have become known for some rather negative practices I don’t want to enumerate here. You know them as well as I do.
“We must police ourselves and have a sense of national pride, or we will get banned again. There is a limit to what foreign governments can take.
“Let us consider the national interest and not repeat the same patterns that contributed to the ban so that we can all travel to Dubai without feeling ashamed.”
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