Africa: After 7 months, Nigeria lifts restrictions on Emirates flights

Emirates UAE

It all started with a letter on the Letterhead of DXB Airport in Dubai stopping Nigerians from entering Dubai without a 4 Hour Rapid Antigen Test to be conducted in Nigeria by a Company chosen by the Emirates Authority.

Nigerians were unanimous in rejecting the conditions.

Yesterday the 26th of November the same Dubai Airport Authority issued a statement lifting the need for a Rapid Antigen tests for Nigerians.

The initial letter cascaded into the Banning and Unbanning of Nigerians in UAE and Emirates Airline into Nigeria. It became a Diplomatic Faceoff between UAE and Nigeria though it was routinely denied by both countries. Nigerians in UAE were being denied Resident Permit as a way of putting pressure on the Nigerian Government to lift the ban on Emirates.

With the announcement yesterday seven months after it was banned from operating into the country, Nigeria has lifted restrictions on Middles East Carrier, Emirates airline flights, the aviation minister said on Friday.

The airline was banned from operating into the country after it insisted on carrying out Rapid Antigen Test on air passengers from the country, which the Nigerian government frown at, describing the action of the carrier as selectively targeting Nigerians.

According to, Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika said Nigeria lifted the ban after the carrier met some of its conditions.

“Today we received communications from Emirates removing some of the conditions for travelling for which we had concerns,” the minister of state for aviation, Hadi Sirika, said on Friday. “Having done that it is necessary to lift the ban on Emirates. This subsequent lifting of ban is a product of lengthy negotiations between us and them.”



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