A five-member UAE delegation arrived in Abuja on Sunday to hold talks with the Nigerian government on restarting diplomatic relations and resuming flights between the two countries.
The delegation, which is led by a mid-level official, is expected to meet with Nigerian officials over the next few days to discuss the issues that led to the breakdown in relations last year.
The visit comes after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu made a stopover in Abu Dhabi on his way back from the G20 Summit in India last month.
In September, the Nigerian government issued a statement saying that it had reached an agreement with the UAE to immediately resume flights by Emirates and Etihad Airlines. However, the UAE later issued a counter-statement saying that the agreement was not finalized.
Diplomatic sources say that the UAE is interested in expanding bilateral relations with Nigeria, but that it is unlikely to do so without being sure of what it is getting back in return.
One source said that the UAE is particularly interested in resolving the issue of ticket revenues of about $85 million that are stuck at Nigeria’s Central Bank. The UAE is also concerned about visa restrictions that have been imposed on some Nigerian citizens.
The Nigerian government has said that it is still working out the details of the flight resumption agreement.