Legal practitioner, Daniel Bwala has reacted to the silence of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on lifting the visa ban after a meeting with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
News Verified reported that Presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, in a statement released on Monday, stated that the meeting with the UAE authorities was fruitful.
According to Ngelale, disputes on the visa ban slammed Nigerian travelers ten months ago, and the suspension of Etihad and Emirates flights were resolved at the meeting.
However, Emirates News Agency, the official news agency of the UAE, reported that during the meeting, which took place at Qasr Al Shati in Abu Dhabi, Nahyan renewed his congratulations to Tinubu on assuming the presidency, and wished him every success in leading Nigeria and its people to further progress and prosperity.
Reacting to this, Bwala, in a statement via X, opined there is nothing landmark about the lift of the visa ban and travel restrictions because the flight ban was primarily occasioned by Central Bank of Nigeria’s non-payment of funds belonging to the emirate and Nigerians’ increased crime in UAE.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain said the UAE failed to issue a statement on the visa ban lift announced by Ngelale because they do not want to commit until Nigeria fulfils the promise to repatriate the emirate’s money to UAE.
Bwale added that Nigerians should not be carried away with public statements until they see timelines and deliverables.
He said, “I am an optimist, but there is nothing landmark about the lift of the ban on visa and travel restrictions. Firstly, the flight ban was occasioned by Nigeria’s CBN non payment of funds belonging to emirate. PBAT promised to pay back. Visa restrictions were occasioned by Nigerians’ increased crime rate in the UAE.
“Secondly, whilst the lift of travel is okay, but it does not translate to foreign investment, as UAE prides itself in attracting investments into their country but not in UAE investing in foreign lands, so expect nothing from UAE in Nigeria. The so-called landmark deal is to the benefit of the UAE that continues to receive illicit monies and investments by alleged Nigerias’ corrupt public officers into the UAE. What we need is strengthening of the mutual legal assistance agreement for repatriation of stolen funds belonging to the government of Nigeria in the UAE.
“Thirdly, there is nowhere in any UAE government website or government public statement issued by UAE you will find what spokesman to PBAT issued about the so-called landmark deal; do you know why? Because the UAE does not want to commit until Nigeria fulfills her promise to repatriate emirate’s money to the UAE.
“Lastly, do not be carried away by any photo-ops, handshakes and statements until you see timelines and deliverables. We have seen the movie before in the last administration with Siemens, Mambila power project etc. They are all over the media saying they have attracted billions of dollars from India, even when non of those investors published on their website or in any Indian local news outlets of the said investment plans. YOU CAMPAIGN IN POETRY AND GOVERN IN PROS. You don’t govern in poetry my friends.
“Come back to NIgeria and address the problems confronting us to wit, multi-dimensional poverty, corruption, healthcare, education, insecurity, state-sponsored threats, crisis of legitimacy etc.”