Capital importation from the United Arab Emirates totalled $225.1m since a visa ban was placed on Nigeria in October 2022, according to findings by the PUNCH.

Last year, 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.

In December 2021, Emirates Airlines announced that eight African countries would not be accepted to travel through Dubai until further notice due to the spread of COVID-19.

In February this year, 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.

Data from the latest Capital Importation report of the National Bureau of Statistics for the first quarter of 2023 showed that UAE investors sent $108.28m into the country between January and March this year.

This was an increase of 216.05 per cent from the $34.26m sent in Q1, 2022.

However, it was a slight decrease of 7.31 per cent from the $116.82m recorded in Q4, 2022.

In total, since the visa ban in October, a total of $225.1m had been invested in Nigeria from the UAE.

This total figure for October 2022 to March 2023 was almost up to the total $281.78m recorded for the entire year of 2022.

The PUNCH also observed that during the ban, the UAE donated relief food items to Nigeria following the recent flood disaster in November 2022.

Also, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development signed an agreement with the Nigerian government to finance a major road project in the country.

The fund allocated Dhs165m ($45m) to support the Minna-Bida Road project.

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