The UK government has announced the closure of its visa application centres in Nigeria following the violence that has trailed the #EndSARS protest.
In a statement released on Wednesday October 21, it was gathered that the centres will be closed for a minimum of 48 hours. Applicants with booked appointments have been asked to reschedule their appointment till next week.
The statement read;
‘Important: Closure of our Visa application centre’ on its website said the centres will be closed for 48 hours “at a minimum”.
“Due to the ongoing protest in Nigeria and for the safety of both staff and applicants, our Nigeria centres will be closed for 48 hours at a minimum.
“For applicants with booked appointments within this period, please you will need to reschedule your appointment for next week, from 26th October 2020.
“We will continue to post regular updates on this page, so please keep checking back for the latest information on reopening. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.”
UAE offers 10-year residence visas to doctors, engineers, top graduates
The city of Dubai has approved granting a 10-year Golden Visa to all PhD holders, UAE-based physicians, as well as, engineers.
The United Arab Emirates said that it will grant doctors and infectious disease experts working in the Gulf nation a 10-year residence visa. The plan will enable the nation capture needed talents to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
This was announced on Sunday, by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and leader of Dubai.
The UAE’s long term residency visa was one of the most difficult to get pre-covid-19. However, the Gulf nation launched a 10-year visa scheme to attract skilled talent in 2019.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE disclosed that the UAE wants to embrace the skilled talent needed to drive its future development.
UAE Golden Visa will also include UAE-based physicians as well as engineers in the fields of computer science, electronics, programming, electricity and biotechnology.
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) November 15, 2020
“Today, we approved granting the 10-year Golden Visa to all PhD holders in the UAE. Also, the Golden Visa will be granted to top graduates from UAE-accredited universities with a GPA of 3.8 and above,” he said.
“UAE Golden Visa will also include UAE-based physicians, as well as, engineers in the fields of computer science, electronics, programming, electricity, and biotechnology.
“Other categories granted UAE Golden Residency are specialists in AI, big data, virology, epidemiology & UAE’s high school top graduates and their families. We are keen to embrace talent that drives future development and this is only the beginning,” he added.
What you should know
The UAE joins other nations including the UK who have made it easier for ex-pat doctors to settle in during the pandemic, which would also be seen as an attractive offer to Nigerian doctors.
In July, the UK launched the Health and Care Visa Scheme to attract top medical doctors from countries like Nigeria. The programme fastens the time for doctors to move to the UK. 58 Nigerian doctors were also stopped in July from traveling to the UK.
This comes a year after Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr. Chris Ngige, disclosed that he is not bothered about the decision of some medical doctors, who choose to leave Nigeria to practice outside the country.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, announced last month that the Federal Government plans to make the migration of skilled Nigerian Healthcare workers unattractive by investing in Healthcare infrastructure.
FG to reopen Kano and Port Harcourt airports for international flights
After several months of being shutdown, Port Harcourt and Kano airports will soon be opened for international flights.
The Nigerian government announced the reopening of the Kano and Port Harcourt airports for international flights. This comes 3 months after Lagos and Abuja airports were reopened for operations.
This was disclosed by Musa Nuhu, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), during the daily Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
What you should know
It was reported in August that The Federal Government has commenced the process of gradual resumption of international flight operations in Lagos and Abuja which were suspended as part of measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19.
The FG later postponed the resumption date for international flights to September 5th 2020. This came after the FG announced the reopening of 14 airports across the nation for full domestic operations in July.
The Federal Government also commissioned the reopening of the reconstructed Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu on Sunday, August 30, 2020.
At the briefings, Mr. Nuhu disclosed that both airports reopening for International flights will be fully operational after the ICT infrastructure issues have been fixed and manpower is fully adequate for International resumption.
Nuhu said the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) will provide the ICT support wand the manpower would be provided by the Port Health Services
He added that opening the airport for International flights was necessary to decongest Lagos and Abuja airports.
Arik, Dana Airlines to resume flight operations after curfew
Dana Air and Arik airlines to resume flight operations from Lagos airport tomorrow.
Dana Air and Arik airlines are set to resume flight operations from Lagos airport on Saturday, as the Lagos State government relaxed the 72-hour curfew imposed on the state.
The curfew was imposed by the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday to forestall further breakdown of law and order, following series of EndSARS protests.
Communications Manager, Arik Air, Adebanji Ola, in a statement issued on Friday, explained that flights across the country would operate as scheduled, and passengers were advised to arrive at the airport early to have ample time to complete boarding formalities.
He said, “Customers who could not use their tickets during the period of the curfew can modify such tickets at no extra cost.
“The management of Arik Air thanks customers for their understanding while the cancellation of flights lasted.”
Also, spokesperson for Dana Air, Mr Kingsley Ezenwa announced that the airline was pleased to inform its passengers that the company would resume full flight operations from Saturday, the 24th of October 2020.
He said, “The tickets purchased for flights within the period of the curfew remains valid and can be rescheduled for free by sending an email to us.”
Back story: Themoneymetrics reported earlier on Friday that the Lagos State Government had eased the 72-hour curfew which was earlier imposed on Tuesday, October 2020, to run from 6 pm to 8 am.
This was disclosed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday, October 23, during a press briefing at State House Marina, after a tour of the state to inspect the level of destruction of public and private infrastructure during the #EndSARS protests that later turned violent.
This means residents can go out between 8 am and 6 pm, with effect from Saturday, October 24, 2020).