The Federal Government of Nigeria has launched an investigation into the abrupt cancellation of visas for 264 Nigerian passengers who arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on a flight from Lagos and Kano on Sunday.
The flight, originating from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, made a stopover at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano before landing at King Abdul-Aziz International Airport in Jeddah.
The ordeal unfolded when Saudi Arabian authorities unexpectedly announced the cancellation of all visas for the Nigerian passengers upon their arrival in Jeddah.
This unforeseen development left airline staff bewildered, as the passengers had already undergone the Advanced Passengers Information System (APIS) during check-in formalities in Nigeria—an operation closely monitored by Saudi authorities.
In response to the incident, the media aide to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, AlKasim Abdulkadir, issued a statement acknowledging the investigation and assuring the public that the Ministry is diligently examining whether any consular or aviation rules were violated.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is investigating the matter to determine if any consular or aviation rules have been flouted,” the statement read.
“The Ministry will ensure that actions impacting the welfare of Nigerian citizens are mitigated in the future, aligning with the 4Ds strategy of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“Nigeria has just participated in the Saudi-Africa Summit where bilateral discussions covering several sectors of the economy and mutually beneficial commitments were made.”