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UAE Visa Ban Update: Nigerians in Dubai Expose FG, Reveal Reason Behind Work Permit Ban, Others…

Nigerians living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had exposed the major reason behind the diplomatic row which saw the country stopping the issuance of visas and work permits to Nigerians in the country, the same reason is why the country stopped its carriers from operating the Nigerian route…

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Nigerians living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had exposed the major reason behind the diplomatic row which saw the country stopping the issuance of visas and work permits to Nigerians in the country, the same reason is why the country stopped its carriers from operating the Nigerian route.

ENigeria News reports that it has been over two months since President Bola Ahmed Tinubu assured Nigerians that the diplomatic row between Nigeria and the UAE is being resolved, yet the challenges befalling Nigerians in the country persist, while others risk deportation.

The lingering diplomatic row between both countries deteriorated over time and saw the UAE flag carrier, Emirates, suspending flights to Nigeria since the time of former President Mohammadu Buhari.

However, the hope of many Nigerians was raised after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu visited the UAE. After the visit which was celebrated in the media, the President’s spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale in a statement sent to journalists said, the UAE agreed to lift the visa ban and that the UAE carriers, Emirates and Etihad, would soon resume flights.

Other government officials, including the Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, later said discussions were still ongoing in that regard and flight ban and other related issues would soon be resolved.

About two months later, nothing has happened even as Nigerians in UAE said the restriction on Nigerians to work in the Arab country continues to take a toll on them.

Contrary to the popular narrative that Nigerians in the UAE were slammed with visa and work permit bans because of their criminal activities in Dubai, Nigerians in the UAE disclosed that it is far from the truth, as the main reason was the Emirates Airlines’ trapped funds in Nigeria.

Further checks by ENigeria News show that Emirates Airlines has over $85m of its fund trapped in Nigeria – this is out of the over $700m the government owes other foreign airlines.

Although the Federal Government had also repeatedly assured that the government would clear the backlog of trapped funds belonging to foreign airlines, so far that appears to be far from reality.

Some frustrated Nigerians in the country took to social media to vent their anger over what they called the seeming inaction of the Federal Government while its citizens face untold hardship in the UAE. Some of them wrote:

“We want to use this medium to call on the Federal Government of Nigeria, the President, the Senate President, the Speaker House of Representatives, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Director-General of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, we want to call on all of you to please see to the sufferings of Nigerians in UAE, it is getting tough for us here.

“We are losing jobs every day; we cannot afford our bills again because we are losing our jobs. We cannot get work permits and visas and this is taking a whole lot from us. Some of us have paid for visas but we cannot get them,” said Enifome Caroline Elijah in a chat with our correspondent.

She disagreed that Nigerians were slammed with visa and work permit bans because of the criminal activities of some Nigerians living in Dubai, saying the main reason was the Emirates Airlines’ trapped funds.

She noted that the issue had dragged on for over two years and four months and said the visit of the president to the UAE had not resolved it.

“In fact, we are not happy that the president even came without addressing the citizens in that country to encourage us. The issue is about the trapped fund, the trapped fund is the number one priority; it is not the issue of Nigerians committing crimes.

“Do you know how many Indians are misbehaving? Egyptians, Bangladeshi, some even raped, have they banned them? I can tell you that the UAE security is tight, if you commit a crime, you would be fished out. You cannot hide if you commit a crime,” she added.

Also, another Nigerian in UAE identified as Prince Ijitola stated that 90 percent of Nigerians have lost their jobs in UAE.

“Companies are no longer recruiting Nigerians in UAE due to the ban and most Nigerians in UAE are working class, we have families to feed back home. If you had ignored our request, how do we feed our families? How do you reduce the level of crime in our dear country, how do you reduce the level of corruption in our dear country?

“We are using this medium to plead to the Nigerian government, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to please use his good office to look into the matter with the UAE and give a positive bilateral agreement.

“The question everybody is asking is: where is Emirates’ Airlines’ fund trapped? Who held the money? It is the government. Please, pay the Emirates the trapped fund and let everything go successively so that we, Nigerians, can be happy once again in the UAE.”

Another Nigerian in UAE, identified as Citizen Oluwatosin, said, “People are getting their dream jobs with global companies here, but the companies can’t give them a visa.

“The situation is getting worse on a daily basis; things are getting worse for Nigerians here. People are losing jobs daily and more Nigerians are being told by their employers to stop at a future date if the situation continues.

“Nigerians are some of the most talented expats here and many companies are sad they couldn’t get visas for their employees who are Nigerians.”

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