By Ismail Auwal

The Federal Government has lifted the conditional ban on Emirates Airline flying into Nigeria.

Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, made the announcement on Saturday in Abuja in a statement issued by James Odaudu, the Ministry of Aviation’s Director of Public Affairs.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Federal Government has barred Emirates from flying into Nigeria due to the UAE’s discriminatory policies toward Nigerians in relation to COVID-19 protocols (UAE).

According to Mr Sirika, the decision was made in response to the desires of Nigerian travelers and after lengthy negotiations with the UAE, the home country of Emirates Airlines.

The minister further said that the UAE had also removed all travel restrictions on Nigerians.

“We have received communication from UAE removing some of the conditions of travel of which we had concerns about.

Having done so, we feel we should lift the ban on the suspension of Emirates Airline.

”All the impediments on Emirates have been lifted and that the airline can now operate in Nigeria,“ he said.

Mr Sirika lauded the understanding of Nigerians in spite of the hardships experienced as a result of the spat between the two countries.

Also speaking, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, noted that Nigeria recognised that UAE had a responsibility to protect the lives of her citizens.

He added that whatever measures the UAE had taken was for the best interest of her citizens.

He said that the negotiation that led to the renewed relationship was a balanced one and was a win-win for both countries.

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