The federal government has said the that it is working on the final details on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) visa issue ban on Nigerians.
The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, disclosed this at the closing ceremony of the 7th African Aviation Summit in Abuja, a few days after the UAE lifted its month-long visa ban on Nigerian travellers.
He said that it was crucial for airlines operating between Nigeria and the UAE to have reciprocal rights as per the Bilateral Air Services Agreements.
The minister was of the opinion that there was a need for balanced and fair treatment between the two countries.
Keyamo noted: “We are working out the details. 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 Emirate before I left UAE, I met with Etihad before I left UAE and we are working out the details.
“The time frame, we cannot say the time frame. Kicking off an airline operation again on a route, it is not that you will go and grab one empty plane sitting in a place.
“There is no idle plane sitting anywhere, they have to reschedule their flights, restart their routes again, and all kinds of things. All kinds of permission will be taken from local authorities, and of course, I made the point in speaking with them that they will have to give our airlines reciprocal rights under our BASA.
“That is the point I insisted on, and they did say that any spot we need, they will give us as much as we give them those spots within Nigeria.”
The minister also addressed concerns regarding trapped funds, and assured that efforts are being made to ensure that the funds of foreign airlines are repatriated.