Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, has assured Nigerians that the issues they are facing regarding the procurement of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) visa will be resolved soon.
Keyamo disclosed this at the closing ceremony of the 7th African Aviation Summit in Abuja on Thursday, September 14.
While speaking on the visa issues that saw President Tinubu visiting the UAE this week, Keyamo stated that they are trying to work out the details.
“We are working the details out. When two countries agree at the very top level then of course all the government operatives will begin to work out the tiny details. So, we are beginning to work out all the tiny details. I met with Emirate before I left UAE, I met with Etihad before I left UAE and we are working out the details.
The time frame, we cannot say the time frame. Kicking off an airline operation again on a route, it is not that you will go and grab one empty plane sitting in a place. There is no idle plane sitting anywhere, they have to reschedule their flights, restart their routes again, and all kinds of things. All kinds of permission will be taken from local authorities and of course, I made the point in speaking with them and I made it clear that they will have to give our airlines reciprocal rights under our BASA.
That is the point I insisted on, and they did say that any spot we need, they will give us as much as we give them those spots within Nigeria.”
Speaking on foreign airlines blocked funds, he said;
“Mr. President is very concerned about that it is one of the issues we went to discuss in the UAE. I spoke with the minister of finance and the coordinating minister of the economy and he has indicated that within the next few weeks, the Central Bank of Nigeria will be very clear as to the programme within which these issues will be addressed.
They will be paid off, these are not loans, they are trapped funds, they are funds that are there, it is only the issue of liquidity that is our problem. The issues of liquidity are being addressed as I speak right now. It is something that the president is very concerned about, and that issue, I said that we have addressed it in the UAE and very soon, you will hear from the financial sector”.