The House of Representatives is to constitute an Adhoc committee comprising of members from various relevant committees to interface with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aviation, and National Intelligence Agency among others on the best ways of resolving the diplomatic crisis between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirate, UAE.
The move was part of the House’s resolve to intervene in the ongoing diplomatic dispute between the two countries, following the adoption of a motion on matter of urgent public importance by the Minority Leader of the House, Mr.
Ndudi Elumelu, over the matter.
Presenting the motion, Mr.
Elumelu, stated that in February 2021 the Nigerian Government stopped the UAE National Carrier, Emirates Airline from subjecting Nigerian travelers to additional rapid antigen test as against its stipulated negative PCR test at the Lagos and Abuja airports before departure.
This according to him, made Emirates airline shut down flights to and from Nigeria owing to the disagreement between the airline and the aviation authorities on the propriety of subjecting passengers traveling from Nigeria to emergency COVID-19 protocols.
The lawmaker expressed concern that despite the resumption of flights later, Emirates airline continued to conduct tests for passengers before departure from Nigeria, a development the government frowned at and thus suspended the airline from flying to and from Nigeria.
“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.
There are speculations that the refusal by the UAE authorities to renew work permits for Nigerians living in the country 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 Nigerian route” the Minority Leader explained.
Elumelu also expressed concern that if the Nigerian government does not urgently engage the authorities of the UAE on the matter, thousands of Nigerians living and working in UAE will lose their jobs and means of livelihood hence the need for a quick interface with the authorities of the UAE.
Other agencies to be engaged are the Presidential Task Force, PTF, on Covid-19, National Security, Interior and Immigration Service.
House of Reps constitutes committee over Nigeria/UAE diplomatic dispute