A former member of the House of Representatives, Robinson Uwak has commended President Bola Tinubu on his latest pledge to resolve Nigeria’s dispute with the United Arab Emirates (UAE’s) Emirate Airline and its visa issuance.
The Emirates Airline had, in October 2022 suspended its operations in Nigeria over the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s lack of approval for the repatriation of backlog of funds accruing to its operations in the country.
President Tinubu had, on August 25, while receiving the ambassador of the UAE, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi in Abuja, promised to personally intervene in the dispute and help resolve it amicably.
The media aide to the President, Ajuri Ngelale quoted him as saying “We must work together. We need to agree on core aviation and immigration issues,” Tinubu said in the statement.
Al-Shamsi was quoted in the same statement as saying; “We are getting somewhere. These are small issues, all within a family, and they will be resolved.”
Robinson Uwak said President Tinubu’s move would reopen that corridor for Nigerians, who usually visit the UAE for business and leisure and deepen the cooperation between both nations.
With reference to the reports that Nigerians spend an estimated N3.3 billion weekly ($381m per year) on flights to the UAE (with Emirates Airlines, the UAE flag carrier, having the lion’s share of that amount), Uwak said the two countries ought to sustain their cooperation.
Nigeria as a leading market in Africa, he said, should have equal access to the other big markets in the globe for trade investment and leisure activities.
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