In a significant step towards resolving diplomatic issues and fostering economic cooperation, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria and President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have announced a groundbreaking agreement. This historic accord aims to address challenges stemming from the previous administration in Nigeria and lay the foundation for a new era of collaboration.
The centerpiece of this agreement is the immediate lifting of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travelers by the UAE, marking a crucial step towards enhancing travel and diplomatic ties between the two nations.
In addition, both Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines will promptly resume their flight schedules to and from Nigeria, facilitating the movement of people and goods between the two countries. Importantly, this resumption of flights will not entail any immediate financial burden on the Nigerian government.
President Tinubu’s economic development diplomacy efforts have borne fruit, as the agreement outlines a framework for substantial investments worth several billions of U.S. dollars into Nigeria’s economy. These investments, to be made by the UAE government’s investment arms, will span various sectors, including defense and agriculture.
Furthermore, a new joint foreign exchange liquidity program has been successfully negotiated between the two governments. Specific details of this program will be unveiled in the coming weeks, reflecting the commitment of both leaders to strengthen economic ties.
While President Tinubu’s supporters have celebrated this agreement as a landmark achievement, critics have raised concerns about the perceived responsibility of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Buhari’s administration in addressing issues stemming from their tenure. A critic remarked, “When APC came into power in 2015, Nigeria had thriving bilateral air travel and diplomatic relationships with the UAE. APC should simply return Nigeria to where they met it.”
The agreement between President Tinubu and President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan signifies a pivotal moment in Nigeria-UAE relations, heralding the potential for significant economic advancements and strengthened diplomatic bonds in the future.