The federal government has accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of intentionally discriminating against Nigerian travellers with its COVID-19 travel protocols.
The Nigerian government in a submission on Monday by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika during a briefing by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 observed that other West African nations are not subjected to similar conditions Nigerian travellers have to go through.
He noted that Nigerians travelling to the UAE have been forced to fly from neighbouring countries such as Ghana and the Benin Republic despite best efforts by the Nigerian government in tackling the coronavirus.
Sirika accused the UAE government of double standards and specifically targetting Nigeria with its COVID-19 travel protocols which has made it impossible for Nigerian travellers to fly straight from the country into Dubai or other cities in the UAE.
“The story is they (UAE) have a protocol that discriminates against Nigeria and it was specifically targeted at Nigeria and we said no, and it’s on behalf of the people.
“We’ve gone through the ministry of foreign affairs, now we’re been mandated by the taskforce (PSC) jointly with the foreign affairs to resolve this impose.”
“Nigeria has no issue with Emirates, but against the preferential treatment,” he said.
Speaking on the same matter, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha said the appropriate government agencies will continue to liaise with the UAE on the issue with a few to providing lasting and acceptable solutions.
“The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Aviation will continue to dialogue with the representatives of the UAE to resolve the issue of Emirates flights between Nigeria and the UAE,” he said.
“Protection of the interest of Nigerians remains our primary focus.”
Naija News understands issues about the management of the COVID-19 safety protocol has been an issue between Nigeria and UAE since the beginning of this year, causing flight bans and counter-bans in some instances.
Meanwhile, six Nigerians have been listed by the United Arab Emirates as financiers of Boko Haram and other criminal activities.
According to WAM news agency, the list was released after the Emirate federal cabinet met in the capital Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Source: Naija News