Tuesday, August 9

Confusion Over UAE’s Ban On Passengers From Nigeria

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THERE was confusion over the status of passengers from Nigeria to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Information gathered on Monday showed that airlines like Ethiopian Airlines did not fly UAE-bound Nigerian passengers, though there was no official statement to confirm or debunk the development either from the side of the Federal Government or that of the Ethiopian airlines. 

This came as reports emanated that the UAE has stopped foreign airlines from flying Nigerian passengers into its country. 

Nigerian Tribune gathered on Monday evening that the UAE directed that no foreign airlines should fly Nigerian passengers to the country, in view of the crisis over the one-sided Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) which favoured the UAE Emirates airlines over Nigeria. 

A source at the airline, however, assured that Nigerians billed to travel on Ethiopian Airlines to UAE will be flown out from today. 

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Meanwhile, the Federal Government has initiated diplomatic steps to make the United Kingdom and other countries to reverse restriction imposed on travellers from Nigeria on account of the omicron variant. 

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, who said this on Monday, however, warned that while each country is entitled to put in place measures to protect its citizens, Nigeria has similar responsibilities. He noted that government is exploring diplomatic measures in resolving the issues surrounding the travel ban based on existing relationships. 

Speaking at the national briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja, SGF, who is the chairman of the committee, said, “the PSC is working with mandate ministries to address the issues surrounding the restriction imposed by some countries on travellers from Nigeria on account of the omicron variant. 

“While each country is entitled to put in place measures to protect its citizens, Nigeria has similar responsibilities. 

“He said based on existing relationships, Nigeria has initiated diplomatic steps to make countries reverse their course. 

“This is on-going in the interest of all parties concerned and we expect that positive results would emerge within the next one week. 

“Speaking on the developments on the relationship between Nigeria and the UAE, he said the position of the Federal Government is in line with established International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) protocols and the spirit of the BASA signed with the UAE.

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