UAE Invests $375million In Nigeria Despite Visa Ban

BREAKING: UAE Lifts Visa Ban On Nigeria

Since a visa restriction was imposed on Nigeria in October 2022, private investors from the United Arab Emirates have invested $375.01 million in the country.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics’ most recent Capital Importation report, UAE investors invested $258.2 million into the nation between January and September 2023.

This was a 56.51 percent increase over the $164.97 million sent in the first three quarters of 2022. Since the visa suspension in October, the UAE has spent a total of $ 375.1 million in Nigeria.

The overall sum for October 2022 to March 2023 was nearly equal to the total figure for the full year of 2022 of $281.78m. In the fourth quarter of 2010, $116.82 million was invested. In 2022, the UAE banned nationals of Nigeria and a few other African countries from entering its capital city, Dubai.

“This is to inform you that we will not be posting 30 days visa applications for these nationalities effective today October 18, 2022,” the notice read in part.

Aside from Nigeria, other countries affected by the visa ban included Uganda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Cameroon, Liberia, Burundi, Republic of Guinea, Gambia, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Benin, Ivory Coast, Congo, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Comoros, and the Dominican Republic.

In a notice issued to trade partners, including travel agents, it was indicated that all applications should be rejected.

“Any applications from the above-mentioned countries will be sent back or cancelled,” it read.

This was not the first time some African countries had been banned from entering Dubai. However, despite frantic efforts by the past and current administrations, the Arab nation was still hesitant to open its borders for economic activities.

In February 2023, former President Muhammadu Buhari, called for the lifting of the blanket visa ban on Nigerians by the government of the United Arab Emirates.

The president made the request while condoling with the President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed, on the death of his mother-in-law.

“The President requested his UAE counterpart to review the blanket visa ban imposed on Nigerians intending to travel to the UAE, recalling that mutually beneficial excellent relations had subsisted between the two nations over many years, symbolised by robust economic interactions and regular consultations on matters of common interest, including engagements at the highest political levels,” a spokesperson of the former President, Garba Shehu, said in a statement.

In September, the presidency claimed to have finalised a historic agreement which resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travellers.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, said, “President Bola Tinubu and the President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Monday in Abu Dhabi, finalised a historic agreement which has resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travellers.

“By this historic agreement, both Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines are to immediately resume flight schedules into and out of Nigeria, without any further delay. As negotiated between the two heads of states, this immediate restoration of flight activity, through these two airlines and between the two countries, does not involve any immediate payment by the Nigerian government.”

Some days later, the announcement turned out to be false as an official of the UAE government in an interview debunked that the information was a far cry from the situation on ground, adding that there were “no changes on the Nigeria/UAE travel status so far.”

Also in November, President Bola Tinubu met officials of the UAE at the Presidential Villa, at the State House to resolve issues on the visa row between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the latest figures revealed a significant increase in foreign capital from Niger Republic to Nigeria, marking a 663.5 per cent surge compared to the $2m recorded in Q4, 2021 (that was the last time Nigeria recorded capital inflow from Niger before Q3, 2023 according to NBS data).

Leave a Reply