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Sirika: FG’ll ban EU flights from Nigeria in retaliation

Nigeria will enforce the principle of reciprocity in granting permission to airlines to resume operations

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The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika has stated that the Federal Government will not grant permission to international flights from European countries to land in Nigeria.

Mr. Sirika stated this on Thursday during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

Sirika was represented at the briefing by the Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu.

He said that Nigeria will enforce the principle of reciprocity in granting permission to airlines to resume operations

According to him, only airlines from countries that allow flights from Nigeria will be allowed to fly into and out of Nigeria.

He stated categorically that airlines from the European Union would not be allowed into Nigeria following its recent ban on Nigerian flights and visitors.

He said: “On the list of countries (that are banned), we are working on the comprehensive list, but the main one that came up is when the EU opened their borders effective 1st July, Nigeria was among the list of 54 countries that were not allowed to enter the EU.

“To my understanding, as the situation changes, they are going to look at the list and change it. But so far, we don’t have any contrary information to that first one that Nigeria is banned from going to the EU.

“So, as we open our airspace, we are going to apply the issue of reciprocity to those (EU) countries.”

Recently, the Aviation Minister had announced the resumption of international flights from the 29th of August, 2020.

Sirika, who announced this on his Twitter handle, said that the resumption will begin with Lagos and Abuja.

He also said that airlines would be informed on arrangements that had been put in place to ensure that the resumption of flights were hitch-free.

He noted that in the time being, only a few flights per day would be permitted.

According to him, airlines will operate as test runs of the protocols put in place to ensure the safe return to international operations.

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