In line with the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA), the Nigerian government and United Arab Emirates have agreed to give reciprocal rights to Nigerian airlines.
Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, while speaking at the sidelines of the 7th African Aviation Summit in Abuja, yesterday, said during his meeting with Emirates and Etihad airlines, he insisted Nigerian airlines should be given reciprocal rights.
On the time frame for resumption of flight operations by Emirates and Etihad, he said: “We are working out the details. We cannot say the time frame. Putting out airline operations on a route requires process. There is no idle plane sitting down anywhere. They will have to reschedule their flights and take permission from local authorities.”
He said: “We are working the details out. When two countries agree at the very top level, then, of course, all the government operatives will begin to work out the tiny details. So, we are beginning to work out all the tiny details. I met with Emirates before I left UAE. I met with Etihad before I left UAE and we are working out the details.”
Speaking on trapped funds, he said: “Mr. President is very concerned about that. In fact, it is one of the issues we went to discuss in the UAE. I spoke with the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy and he has given indication that within the next few weeks, the Central Bank of Nigeria will be very clear as to the programme within which these issues will be addressed.
“They will be paid off. These are not loans; they are trapped funds. They are funds that are there. It is only the issue of liquidity that is our problem. The issues of liquidity are being addressed as I speak right now. It is something that the President is very concerned about. Very soon, you will hear from the financial sector.”