FG Demonstrates Commitment To Supporting Nigerian Airlines – Meribole

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The permanent secretary, Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole.
The permanent secretary, Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has affirmed its commitment to providing continuous support for Nigerian airlines.

Head of press and public affairs, Odutayo Oluseyi revealed that Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace, represented by the director of air transport management at the ministry, Mr. Hassan Ejibunu made this assertion during a reception organised by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. The reception celebrated the commencement of direct flights between Nigeria and the Caribbean country by Air Peace.

Ejibunu stated that the Federal Government would persistently introduce and execute policies aimed at ensuring Nigerian airlines reap the benefits of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) that Nigeria has signed with various other countries. He commended Air Peace for this historic achievement, considering it yet another milestone for both nations, which share common ancestral ties.

He further emphasised that this endeavour would fortify the relationship between the two countries in the realms of commerce, trade, and tourism. Ejibunu also acknowledged the approval from the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Antiguan/Barbudan authorities, allowing Air Peace to be designated by the Nigerian Aeronautical Authorities to operate the Nigerian-Antiguan route.

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Mr. Gaston Browne, voiced that this development signalled a new era for the Nigeria-Antigua relationship. He highlighted the ancestral bond between the Caribbean nations and Africa, which he affectionately referred to as the Motherland. Browne expressed his government’s eagerness to promote economic and bilateral ties with African nations within the context of south-south cooperation.

He called upon Nigerian business community members and potential investors to leverage his government’s favourable economic policies and invest in Antigua and Barbuda. Browne also disclosed an ongoing collaboration between Antigua and Barbuda and Air Peace Airline to establish an airline named LIAT 2020, which is slated to commence flight operations soon. Upon launching, the airline is set to provide seamless air connectivity between Africa, Caribbean countries and America.

The director of economic, trade and investment at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bolaji Akinremi emphasised that this development marked the initiation of a fresh, positive relationship between Antigua and Barbuda and the entire Caribbean region. He noted that this air connectivity aligns with President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s foreign policy of integrating African economies.

Akinremi also highlighted that Caribbean nations are considered an integral part of Africa’s fifth bloc. He confirmed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue fostering this new relationship by promoting bilateral meetings between the business communities of both countries.

The event attracted members of the Nigerian business community, prominent government officials from the Republic of Antigua and Barbuda, and the chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema.

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