By Ignatius Ushie
The Federal Government has over the weekend announced the lifting of the ban it previous placed on Emirates Airline from flying into Nigeria.
This however came after painstaking negotiations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Emirates Airlines home country, according to the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who made the announcement in a statement signed by Director, Media and Public Affairs in the Ministry of Aviation, Dr James Odaudu and made available to Transport Day in Abuja.
Briefing journalists in the company of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Oyeama and the National Incidence Manager of Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19, Dr Muktar Mohammed, Senator Hadi Sirika told newsmen that UAE has also removed all travel restrictions on Nigerians.
The FG had previously barred Emirates from flying into Nigeria over discriminatory policies on Nigerians as regards to COVID-19 protocols by the UAE. He however disclosed that the lifting of the ban was without conditions.
“Today we received communication from UAE removing some of the conditions of travel of which we had concerns about. Having done so, we feel we should lift the ban on the suspension of Emirates Airline” he said.
Also speaking at the briefing, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema noted that the Nigerian government recognises that the United Arab Emirates has a responsibility to protect the lives of her citizens thus whatever measures that they had taken was for the interest of her citizens.
On his part, the National Incidence Manager of the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19, Dr Muktar Mohammed commended the leadership provided by members of the Committee in ensuring the resolution of the impasse between the two countries.