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    Nigeria banned UAE flights over COVID-19 testing procedures – FG

    The Federal Government on Thursday has said that contrary to insinuation that the United Arabs Emirates placed a ban on flights from Nigeria, it actually placed a ban on the UAE first due to the terms and conditions laid down by the Emirate.

    The United Arab Emirates had June 19 lifted ban on travels between Dubai and Nigeria after a protracted disagreement between the two countries on Covid-19 protocols.

    UAE had insisted on travelers from Nigeria undergoing several other COVID-19 tests after the initial test in Nigeria.

    Announcing the resumption of flight between the two countries on Saturday, a message from the Dubai Media Office said passengers from Nigeria were now expected to ‘have received a negative result for a PCR test taken within 48 hours before departure’.

    However, Emirates in a statement it released on June 21 reversed its initial stance on resumption of flights.

    The Emirates statement read, “In line with government directives, passengers flights to and from Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) are suspended with immediate effect from 21 June, 2021 until further notice.”

    In an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday, the Secretary of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Dr Mukhtar Muhammed, said the Federal Government had placed a ban on the Emirates before an announcement came from the UAE.

    He said, “I believe the Minister of Aviation has provided detailed information to Nigerians about all that has happened between Nigeria and UAE.

    “There were ongoing consultations and we were engaging them. The ban is not from UAE. Nigeria is the one who didn’t allow them to come in with their flights because of their discriminations towards Nigeria.

    “It is not scientifically right and it is quite discriminatory and that was what we wanted them to address.

    “We were waiting for them to address that issue when we saw on the news that they had now banned Nigeria.

    “So, actually it is not UAE banning Nigeria; it was Nigeria that banned UAE because we were not comfortable with the conditions laid down by UAE and that is why we did not allow them to resume flights.”

    Copyright PUNCH.

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