The Federal Government expressed displeasure as it moves to fight the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the visa ban imposed on Nigerians.
A few days ago, UAE announced a ban on Nigerian travelers following the outcry over a broad rejection of visa applicants of Nigerian origin. The Arab nation immediately contacted its trading partners in Nigeria and a series of travel agencies to notify them of the new development, Investors King understands
UAE did not only impose a visa ban on the citizen of Nigeria but also restricted its airline, Emirate Airlines from flying into the country. This, the Nigerian government attributed to the ongoing trapped fund tussle between itself and foreign airlines led by Emirate Airlines.
The Nigerian Government however has expressed its surprise at the turn of the event, describing the situation as unnecessary.
Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said Nigeria is a big market for their business and to threaten the country over the issue of trapped funds is demeaning and a slap in the face.
Emefiele, who was present at the House of Representatives, said the Federal Government was making moves to repatriate trapped funds to various countries.
He however heaped the blame on the global economy that made it difficult to generate the necessary foreign exchange needed to repatriate trapped funds.
Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika who was also riled up by the measures adopted by UAE over the issue, said although he genuinely sympathized with them, however, that is no reason for them to go to such childish lengths.
According to the speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the issue of foreign airlines’ trapped funds was a major concern to the House. He reiterated that efforts were being made to ensure payments are made by December and urged the international airlines to lift the ban imposed on Nigerian travelers.
Similarly, Professor Ayo Omotayo, the Director General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Jos, Plateau State, who was also displeased at the turn of events, said as Nigerians, we do not know our worth, we have what it takes to be better than Dubai, there is nothing overly special about Dubai, adding that, we should not allow ourselves to be trampled upon by Dubai.
He said: “I have been to Dubai several times. I don’t see any big deal going to Dubai. As Nigerians who have self-pride, we should ban ourselves from going to Dubai. Is it the hotels or the sea that is not anywhere else in the world? I don’t think we should be at the mercy of any country.”
“We have what it takes to be better than Dubai. The Emirates did not make the place themselves; it is a combination of people from all walks of life that made Dubai. We should give ourselves a self-ban. We have nothing to lose,” he concluded.
The prof., urged Nigerians especially upper-class citizens to learn, unlearn and relearn their approach to how to get things done, he said, there should be diverse methods and approaches to addressing the issues affecting the country.
“We are in the era of destructive leadership. You cannot continue to do things the way you have been doing those things. We must begin to have different perspectives on doing things. We must exchange ideas. We cannot afford to continue to move in a cycle. We must reflect ideas, we must create an avenue for solutions to our problems.”
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Nigeria to Implement Biometric Clearance Gates at International Airports by March 2024
Nigeria is gearing up to introduce a significant upgrade to its airport security measures with the implementation of biometric clearance gates at international airports by March 2024.
This move aims to streamline passenger processing and bolster national security efforts.
Under the plan, five major international airports across Nigeria, including the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Port Harcourt International Airport, and Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, will be equipped with biometric clearance gates.
These gates will utilize advanced technology to provide seamless clearance services for passengers entering the country.
Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, emphasized that the installation of biometric gates reflects Nigeria’s commitment to enhancing border control management and adhering to global best practices.
The gates are expected to significantly reduce clearance times, with a passenger clearing in just 30 seconds.
Tunji-Ojo highlighted the gates’ dual purpose: expediting passenger processing while also enhancing national security by allowing for quick identification of persons of interest.
The initiative aligns with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, aiming to provide quality services to Nigerians while ensuring national security.
This modernization effort is poised to address long-standing issues of delays and improve the overall travel experience for passengers at Nigeria’s international airports.
Foreign Embassies Given Two Weeks to Settle $5.36M in Ground Rents
The Nigerian Government has issued a firm ultimatum to 43 foreign embassies and diplomatic houses in Abuja, the nation’s capital, demanding the settlement of outstanding ground rents totaling $5.36 million within two weeks.
In an official advertorial published by the Federal Capital Territory Administration in the Newspaper, the government emphasized the urgency of the matter.
Failure to comply within the stipulated period could result in the revocation of the rent titles held by the diplomatic entities.
The notice serves as a final warning to embassies, including prominent ones like the British High Commission, South African High Commission, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, and the Embassy of Japan, among others.
These embassies and diplomatic entities have been identified as defaulters in the payment of their ground rents.
This directive underscores the Nigerian government’s commitment to ensuring compliance with legal obligations and financial commitments within its jurisdiction, regardless of the status of the entities involved.
The ultimatum is reminiscent of a similar notice issued last September to organizations in Abuja, emphasizing the importance of timely payment of annual rents.
The consequence of non-compliance, as stated in the notice, is the potential revocation of land titles.
The deadline creates a sense of urgency among the affected diplomatic missions, as failure to meet the payment deadline could lead to diplomatic tensions and logistical challenges for the embassies involved.
As the clock ticks, attention is focused on how these foreign embassies will respond to the Nigerian government’s ultimatum and whether they will meet the financial obligations within the stipulated timeframe.
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