The United Arab Emirates has ordered Nigerian citizens living in the country whose visas had expired to leave before August 17, 2020 or face the wrath of the law.
The Embassy of Nigeria, Abu Dhabi, UAE, has, therefore, advised concerned nationals to join the evacuation flights arranged from the country before the expiration of the grace period.
In a statement titled, ‘Public Notice’ and dated July 21, the Nigerian Embassy in the Emirates urged affected citizens to immediately submit their papers for emigration processing.
The statement read, “The Embassy wishes to inform that the government of the United Arab Emirates has granted waivers on fines/penalties on visas that expired before 1st March 2020 to leave the country on or before 17th of August 2020.
“Consequently, the Embassy is urging fellow Nigerians living in the UAE to avail themselves of this opportunity to return home with the impending Air Peace evacuation flight scheduled for 1st August 2020, and or subsequent Emirates evacuation flights before the expiration of the grace period.
“Accordingly, affected Nigerian nationals who are willing to return home are kindly requested to submit their names and passport numbers to the Embassy and or the Consulate for onward transmission to the UAE authorities in order to obtain the necessary clearance.”
The announcement is coming amid rising public commentary in what has been described as stern bilateral policies against Nigeria by the UAE authorities.
This is not unconnected to fraudulent activities perpetrated by a few Nigerians based in Dubai including alleged international internet fraudster Abass Ramon aka Hushpuppi who was arrested by the Dubai Police in June and is being prosecuted in the US.
Amongst other moves, the UAE authorities recently excluded Nigeria from a list of countries permitted to fly into the Emirates.
Its aviation authorities had last week impounded a Nigerian aircraft for flouting safety procedures.