Barely two months after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) changed its visa policy for Nigeria and some other African countries, Ethiopia Airlines has followed suit.
In an email sent to its Nigerian travel partners, which was seen by Nairametrics, Ethiopian Airlines, said Ethiopia has stopped visa-on-arrival for all Nigerian citizens.
In the email signed by its management in Addis-Ababa, travel partners were advised to inform their clients about the change in policy.
The airline said henceforth, passengers are to obtain their visa at Ethiopian embassies in Abuja before traveling to the East African country unlike in the past when travelers were issued a visa on arrival.
The email read in part: “Please, be informed that effective immediately, no more visas on arrival for Nigerian citizens.”
The airline was however silent on the reasons for removing the country’s citizens from its visa-on-arrival regime, but a source close to the Ethiopia embassy in Abuja said this may not be unconnected with some bad characters regularly displayed by some citizens of the country in recent months outside the country.
Besides, Ethiopia also made it compulsory for Nigerian citizens and 42 other countries majorly from African countries to present their yellow fever vaccination cards at any of its borders.
Some of the other countries removed along with Nigeria are Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritania, and Niger.
Others are Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, South Sudan, Uganda, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad, and Tobago, and Venezuela.
UAE Bars some categories of Nigerians
In August 2022, Dubai suspended tourist visas for Nigerians under the age of 40.
The UAE did not however state why it changed the visa policy for some travelers from the country.
But, its action led to some travelers from Nigeria being stranded at some of its airports as they were not properly briefed before departing the country, while many were denied entry into its country.
FG’s Reaction to Dubai’s Action
The Federal Government had said that those stopped from entering Dubai were the travelers who applied for family visas but arrived in the country without any of their family members.
A statement by the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Francisca Omayuli, had said the Nigerian Mission in Dubai clarified that most of the supposedly stranded Nigerians were issued with family visas, only to arrive in Dubai alone without any family members.
Consequently, they were denied entry and advised to return to their country and apply for the appropriate visas.
However, those persons allowed entry into the country has their family members in the UAE. While those who claimed their family members were on another flight, were told to wait at the airport, pending their arrival.
In August 2021, Dubai excluded Nigeria from a list of countries whose citizens were eligible to apply for visa-on-arrival in the UAE.