Uche Usim, Abuja
Dubai-based airline, Emirates, has secured the federal government’s nod to fly into Nigeria.
The ban was lifted based on the undertaking by the authorities of the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) to resume issuance of visas to Nigerians.
According to the Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, “the commencement of the airline’s operations would however depend on the commencement of visa issuance by the UAE.
“UAE has written to state that they agree to issue visas to Nigerians, consequently, a decision has been reached to allow Emirates to fly into Nigeria. Commencement of the Visa issuance is condition precedent. Please bear with this unusual situation”, he said in a statement.
The Minister appreciated the understanding of everyone who has been negatively affected by the recent policy decisions which forbade some airlines from operating into the country when Nigeria reopened its air space to international flights.
The decisions, he explained, were taken to protect the interests of the nation and its citizens who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, same Nigeria treats other nationals.
Emirates Airlines was initially given approval to operate into the country, an approval which was withdrawn following the inability of Nigerians to obtain/use valid tourist visas to enter the UAE.