Connect with us


FG insists on BASA reciprocity with UAE for Nigerian airlines



1694715914 Festus Keyamo

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus keyamo has reiterated that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) carriers would return to the Nigerian routes very soon, but said the government is insisting on reciprocity based on the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) arrangements with the two countries.

Keyamo stated this on Thursday in Abuja at the second day of the 7th Aviation Summit hosted by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Keyamo said that the UAE Government has agreed to give to Nigerian carriers any routes they requested for, but said must be based on reciprocity.

  • He said: “All kinds of permission will be taken from local authorities and of course, I made the point in speaking with them and I made it clear that they will have to give our airlines reciprocal rights under our Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASAs). 
  • “That is the point I insisted on, and they did say that any spot we need, they will give us too as much as we give them those spots within Nigeria.”

Besides, Keyamo assured that it would ensure the trapped funds of foreign airlines are released to them very soon by the Nigerian Government.

Keyamo stated that the government was doing everything possible to ensure the funds are repatriated to the affected airlines.

As at May 2023,  the total trapped funds of foreign airlines in the country was over $500 million.

Efforts to release the money to the airlines had failed in the past one year.

No fewer than two foreign airlines had ceased operations into Nigeria because of the debts, while a few others had to reduce their frequencies into the country.

For instance, Ethiopian Airlines in October had suspended operations into Nigeria following its trapped funds of $85 million.

The minister expressed that President Bola Tinubu was concerned about the trapped funds, stressing that this was one of the reasons he (Tinubu) visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE), recently.

  • “Mr President is very concerned about that, in fact, it is one of the issues we went to discuss in the UAE. And I spoke with the Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and he has given an indication that within the next few weeks, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) 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. And the issues of liquidity is being addressed as I speak right now. It is something that the President is very concerned about, and that issue, I said that we have addressed it in the UAE and very soon, you will hear from the financial sector,” he said.

Download Nairametrics App for breaking news and market intelligence.
    app store banner

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *