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UAE’s strict COVID-19 protocol targeted at Nigeria- FG

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Federal Government has accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of adopting double standards in enforcement of its COVID-19 protocol for visitors, saying the government just decided to prevent Nigerians to travel straight from the country to Dubai and its other cities.

It said that the UAE government allowed other countries including Benin Republic and Ghana citizens to travel directly from their country to its commercial capital, Dubai, as against Nigerians that were not allowed.

The government further alleged that the COVID-19 protocol set for Nigeria was not same as what the Arab nation announced for other nations in spite of the achievements recorded in the fight against the virus in the country.

Allegations against UAE were raised on Monday by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, while briefing newsmen alongside other members of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, on the face-off between Nigeria and UAE.

Sirika stated that investigations revealed that the protocol set for the country was different from other West African nations, disclosing that this is the reason many Nigerians now travel through the country’s neighbours, Benin Republic and Ghana airports.

The minister stressed that the country had no issue with Emirate, rather against the preferential treatment that the UAE government gave to other countries aside from Nigeria.

Also speaking, the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, meanwhile, said that the federal government would continue to dialogue with the representatives of the UAE.

Mustapha stated that the dialogue would be centered on resolving the issue of the Emirates flights movement of passengers between Nigeria and the UAE.

According to him, the protection of the interest of Nigerians remains our primary focus. The Hon. Minister of Aviation will elaborate on this.

The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Aviation will continue to dialogue with the representatives of the UAE to resolve the issue of the Emirates flights between Nigeria and the UAE. The protection of the interest of Nigerians remains our primary focus. The Hon. Minister of Aviation will elaborate on this.

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