Reps Seek End To Nigeria-UAE Diplomatic Row

The House of Representatives has intervened in the diplomatic row between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The decision sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu at the plenary.

While stressing that Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates have had a positive diplomatic relationship and in 2009 the UAE established its embassy in Nigeria, Hon. Elumelu called for necessary legislative intervention to end the soar relationship.

“The House further note that in December 2020, a memorandum of understanding was executed between Nigeria and the UAE to provide a platform for both countries to engage each other bilaterally.

“The House is aware that in February 2021 the Federal Government of Nigeria stopped the UAE national carrier, emirates airline from subjecting Nigerian travellers to additional rapid antigen test as against its stipulated negative PCR test at the Lagos and Abuja airports before departure.

“The House is further aware that Emirates airline then shut down flights to and from Nigeria owing to the disagreement between the airline and the aviation authorities on the propriety of subjecting passengers travelling from Nigeria to emergency COVID-19 protocols.

“The House is concerned that after an interface between the authorities of the aviation ministry and Emirates airline, flights resumed but the Emirates airline continued to conduct test for passengers before departure from Nigeria, a development the federal government frowned at and thus suspended the airline from flying to and from Nigeria.

“The House is further concerned that there are allegations that hundreds of legal resident Nigerians living in UAE are losing their jobs on account of the refusal of the authorities to renew their work permit which offends the letters of bilateral agreements which both nations are signatory to.

“The House is worried that there are speculations that the refusal by the UAE authorities to renew work permit for Nigerians living in there is a calculated attempt to pressure the Nigerian Government into accepting their conditions of service for their national airline that may have lost humongous revenue from the Nigeria route.

“The House is further worried that if the Nigerian government does not urgently engage the authorities of the UAE, thousands of Nigerians living and working will lose their jobs and means of livelihood hence the need for a quick interface with the authorities of the UAE,” he noted.

To this end, the House resolved to set up an Ad-hoc Committees on Aviation, Foreign Affairs, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, National Security and Intelligence and Interior (Immigration Service), National Orientation Agency, Diaspora and Treaties respectively to interface with the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aviation and National Intelligence Agency (NIA), PTF on Covid-19, immigration Service, Diaspora commission and National Orientation Agency on best ways of resolving this crisis and report back to the house within 4 weeks.


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