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FEC approves bilateral air service agreement with Canada

NIGERIANS in Canada may soon be able to fly direct flights to Nigeria as the Federal Executive Council approved bilateral air service agreement between Nigeria and Canada.

This was disclosed by Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday.

He added that the approval was in line with the Chicago convention, to which both Nigeria and Canada were signatories.

“The approval we got was for the signing of bilateral air service agreement (BASA) between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the government of Canada and this is in accordance with the Chicago convention, to which both Nigeria and Canada are signatories.

He added that the highlights of the BASA involve the granting of rights and privileges as well as the designation of airline authorisation, withholding, revocation, suspension and limitation of authorisation, application of national laws and regulations.

“Other components are safety standard certificate and licences, aviation security, custom duties and other charges, statistics pricing and general terms and conditions of carriage, availability of airports and aviation facilities and services, capacity and airline representatives.

“Others are: ground handling, sales and transfer of funds, consultations, amendments therefrom, settlement of disputes, entry into force among others.

“The Council approved that we should go ahead and sign the BASA between us and Canada for all of the benefits to be driven there mutually,” he said.

On the aviation union strike in solidarity with ASUU, the Minister added that “the threat will not be carried out because aviation authorities are already talking to the union.

“I’m naturally concerned about this if the aviation union will shut down in support of ASUU. I would say they have no need to.

“I will say also that we should begin to look at civil aviation as a critical national security enterprise. It has all the implications.

“We should not contemplate or think about an aviation disaster. We should also think about the general activity on the economy of Nigeria without civil aviation.

“I think it should be reconsidered. Civil aviation workers, I think should not be part of this.

“Yes, I am concerned and yes we’ve spoken to them and I don’t think they will join because they know that there’s a huge responsibility of lives on their heads” he added.

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Naija Times