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Fact Check: Did the UAE Really Lift the Visa Ban for Nigerian Travelers?

Fact check on the claim that the UAE lifted its visa ban for Nigerian travelers after a high-profile meeting between Nigerian and UAE leaders.



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The Nigerian government stated that the UAE has lifted the year-long visa ban on Nigerian travelers after a meeting between Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu and UAE leader Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.

The Investigation:

1. Background:

The UAE announced last October that they would not issue visas to citizens from Nigeria along with 19 other African nations. Before the ban, Emirates Airlines operated regular flights from Nigeria to Dubai. With such significant ties between the two nations, the ban brought about significant discussions and speculations.

2. What the Nigerian Government Said:

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu met with the UAE leader and subsequently, the Nigerian government released a statement. The statement claimed that both leaders “finalized a historic agreement,” which paved the way for the lifting of the visa ban and immediate resumption of flights.

3. UAE’s Response:

Contradicting the Nigerian government’s announcement, an official from the UAE communicated to CNN that there have been “no changes on the Nigeria/UAE travel status so far.” This stance was further echoed in a UAE government statement which mentioned that the two leaders had explored opportunities for further collaboration, without referencing any lift of the visa ban or the resumption of flights.

4. Nigeria’s Retraction:

After the UAE’s clarification, a Nigerian government spokesperson released a follow-up statement indicating that officials from both countries needed more time to work out the details of the agreement, contrasting the government’s initial announcement.

The Verdict:

Based on the provided information and the UAE’s explicit denial, the claim that the UAE has lifted the visa ban on Nigerian travelers is FALSE. The situation remains fluid, and any future agreements between the countries may alter the current status. However, as of this investigation, the visa ban stands.

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