- The UK has denied Air Peace a landing permit to evacuate stranded Nigerians from the country
- Air Peace, following the development, had to partner with another airline with higher costs to evacuate the stranded citizens
- The Nigerian government has also vowed to review bilateral air agreements with the UK and other countries
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Despite getting a special landing right by the Nigerian government to evacuate its own citizens, the United Kingdom has refused to grant Air Peace, an indigenous Nigerian airline, landing permit to evacuate stranded Nigerians.
The unexpected refusal of the UK government to grant the landing permit has, thus, caused a delay to the planned evacuation of the stranded citizens.
The evacuation flight which was earlier scheduled for Monday, July 13, has now been postponed to Tuesday, July 14, via another airline.
Following the refusal of the UK to grant Air Peace the landing permit, the Nigerian government appealed to the airline to engage the service of another airline for the evacuation, instead of refunding the ticket fares it had received.
Thus, Air Peace has partnered with another airline approved by the British government for the evacuation.
Speaking on the development, the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye, said on Sunday, July 12, that the new arrangement is more expensive than the amount Air Peace earlier charged, ThisDay reports.
Nwonye, therefore, thanked the management of Air Peace on behalf of the federal government.
Following the development, the minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the Nigerian government will review all its existing bilateral air service agreements with other countries including the UK.
The minister's statement has elicited reactions from some Nigerians on Twitter.
Mark. Oche, @MarkOche3, tweeted: "Nigeria has always been a kiss a** country. No guts whatsoever. Spare us the cock and bull story. Status quo will still remain the same."
Benbozone Event Planners Abuja, @benbozoneltd, commented: "@British_Airways should be given same treatment. I think reciprocity is allowed in diplomacy. Please remember those stranded in Ethiopia."
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Meanwhile, different from the hostile treatment by the UK, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), said the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government paid for the flight tickets of 246 Nigerians repatriated from the country.
Sharing the pleasant news via her Twitter account, the NIDCOM chairman further disclosed that the 246 Nigerians were evacuated from the country on Wednesday, July 8.
She stated that UAE also paid for the test fees, adding that the returnees' flight arrived at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at exactly 3.30pm.
"More Nigerians returned. Another evacuation flight today arrived Lagos about 3.30 pm with a total of 246 onboard Emirates The UAE govt paid for tickets and cost of Covid-19 tests for 131 of the evacuees.
"A big thank you to the Nigerian Mission in Dubai and the UAE government," Abike-Dabiri disclosed on Wednesday.
In another report, popular Nollywood actress Regina Daniels recently opened up about what it felt like to be carrying her first child for billionaire hubby, Ned Nwoko, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The actress in a video shared by BBC News spoke to reporters during the naming ceremony of her newborn which took place on Friday, July 10.
According to the new mother, being pregnant amid the pandemic is not exactly a pleasant experience.
She noted that it is possible for depression to set in since pregnant mothers have to remain indoors most of the time in order to stay protected.
The actress also noted that the pandemic was not favourable to her as she was not supposed to welcome her first child in Nigeria.
Regina, however, maintained that she had a smooth run during her pregnancy as opposed to what a lot of people said she was going to experience.
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