Emirates to return to Nigeria after deal with UAE

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United Arab Emirates-based flag carriers Emirates and Etihad Airways will resume flights to Nigeria “with none additional delay” as a part of a wide-ranging deal between the Nigerian authorities and the UAE, according to the Nigerian government. 

The deal, agreed between Nigerian President Bola Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi, additionally consists of the rapid repeal of a visa ban positioned on Nigerian travellers and billions of {dollars} of UAE investments into Nigeria.

“By this historic settlement, each Etihad Airways and Emirates Airways are to right away resume flight schedules into and out of Nigeria, with none additional delay. As negotiated between the 2 Heads of State, this rapid restoration of flight exercise, by way of these two airways and between the 2 international locations, doesn’t contain any rapid fee by the Nigerian authorities,” mentioned the assertion.

The return of Emirates would carry to an finish a yr of inactivity after the Dubai flag-carrier mentioned in August 2022 that it will droop all flights to and from Nigeria, citing its lack of ability to repatriate funds from the nation, then led by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a letter despatched to the federal government on 22 July 2022, Emirates mentioned that it had $85m caught within the nation as of that month, a determine that had been rising by $10m per thirty days. On the time, the corporate claimed it had “tried each avenue to handle our ongoing challenges in repatriating funds from Nigeria, and have made appreciable efforts to provoke dialogue with the related authorities.”

By March this yr, it was being reported that Emirates nonetheless had round $35m value of ticket revenues caught in Nigeria and was making sluggish progress in repatriating funds.  

Relationship reset

Whereas the monetary particulars of the deal weren’t disclosed, President Tinubu’s willingness to interrupt the impasse signifies that he’s taking a extra accommodative method to overseas buyers who’ve lengthy complained that it’s too tough to repatriate funds from Nigeria. Beneath the presidency of Buhari, strict overseas foreign money restrictions have been imposed on worldwide buyers.

Against this, Nigeria mentioned that the brand new deal will even embody the launch of a brand new a joint overseas alternate liquidity programme with the UAE, particulars of which can be introduced within the coming weeks.

The states additionally agreed that the funding arms of the UAE authorities would make investments “a number of billions of US {dollars}” into sectors of the Nigerian economic system together with defence, agriculture and others.

The assertion mentioned that Tinubu counseled UAE chief Al Nahyan for “his unalloyed friendship and his decided effort be a part of palms with him to totally normalize and reset to excellence, the usual of relations between the 2 vital international locations.”

Supply: african.business

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