By Chioma Iruke
The Nigerian Government has knocked the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over what it described as lopsided enforcement of Covid-19 protocols targeted at Nigerians.
The country’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika during a briefing by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on Covid-19 in Abuja, said the UAE prevented Nigerians from travelling directly from their country to Dubai and other UAE cities.
However, citizens of other countries, including Benin Republic and Ghana are allowed to travel directly from their countries to Dubai.
The Minister bemoaned the unfair treatment meted to Nigeria in comparison to other countries, in spite of Nigeria’s achievements in the fight against the coronavirus.
According to him, investigations revealed that the protocol set for Nigeria was different from that of other West African nations.
He said that was the reason many Nigerians travelled through the country’s neighbours, Benin Republic and Ghana.
“Nigeria has no issue with Emirates, but against the preferential treatment,” he added.
Also responding, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the PSC, Mr. Boss Mustapha noted that the Federal Government would continue to dialogue with representatives of the UAE on the issue.
“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.
“Protection of the interest of Nigerians remains our primary focus,” he said.