Quite a few Nigerian air travellers have taken gain of the diplomatic deadlock amongst the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Nigeria more than COVID-19 protocols, as they now defy flight polices emanating from both nations around the world, THISDAY investigation has unveiled.
THISDAY observed that numerous Nigerian air travellers now travel to UAE’s common spot, Dubai by way of the airports in Accra, Ghana, Lome, Togo and Cotonou in Benin Republic.
The Nigerian travellers go through tortuous damaged streets by way of Badagry to aforementioned towns exactly where they then board Emirates Airways flights to Dubai.
Apart from those that fly to Emirates, THISDAY also learnt that there are Nigerians who vacation to other locations that Nigeria has stringent COVID-19 protocols, such as South Africa.
Before in the 12 months, UAE experienced directed that Nigerians travelling to Dubai will have to bear Quick Antigen Checks (RTD) 24 hrs in advance of boarding their flights and UAE stated that no other airline emanating flights from Nigeria ought to take Nigerian travellers to Dubai.
The clearly discriminatory plan was opposed by the federal authorities, which insisted that Emirates must abide by the Nigerian government’s protocol, which is that travellers ought to beneath go PCR (polymerase chain response) 72 hours just before their flight.
THISDAY investigation revealed that each day, hundreds of Nigerians travel through Accra, Cotonou and Lome and most of them board Emirates flights.
This was verified by the Director, Study, Zenith Travels Confined and the Assistant Secretary General, Aviation Spherical Desk (Artwork), Olu Ohunayo, who instructed THISDAY that Nigerians travelling to people nations are those people heading to Dubai.
This, he said, is because Emirates has not began their operation in Nigeria.
He stated that Nigerians travel as a result of all those routes to go, “and do matters that are crucial in their lives, which includes enterprise, schooling and overall health.”
“What they have finished now is how to circumvent COVID-19 protocols and directives of Emirates concerning the Lagos and Abuja routes. Which is why when they get into these nations around the world they are getting their passport entries stamped and backdated for them to get to Dubai to get whichever they want. I really don’t consider that there are men and women who are going for shopping among the all those that journey now it is folks who are travelling for matters that affect their lives, these kinds of as business, wellbeing and training. You are unable to stop people today doing things that will enhance their life. That is why you see them paying the extra value of travelling by the neighboring nations around the world,” he said.
Ohunayo noted that some of all those who vacation that way incorporate individuals who have Emirates tickets with them who know how hard it is to get their cash again from the airline and they are unable to manage to get new tickets so they are forced to use the tickets by re-routing the tickets via Cotonou, Accra or Lome.
He explained that the travellers incur less expenses mainly because airfare from Lagos is the greatest in West Africa so even when they shell out for re-routing the don’t spend much “because the fare in Lagos is better than the fairs in the neighborhood, the proprietor of the tickets have practically nothing to reduce. They journey by street to the city and pay out for the protocols and immigration but the re-routing charge is insignificant because the expense of ticket in Lagos is increased than that of other routes.”
Outlining why Emirates flights were being banned from Nigeria, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said not too long ago that the federal authorities has no problem with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), alternatively versus the preferential cure of adopting double specifications in the enforcement of its COVID-19 protocols for readers, saying the government just made the decision to prevent Nigerians from travelling straight from the nation to Dubai and other metropolitan areas.
The Minister claimed the COVID-19 protocols set for Nigeria was not the identical as what UAE announced for other nations regardless of the achievements Nigeria recorded in the struggle versus the virus.
According to him, investigations revealed that the protocols established for the nation were different from the West African nations and this is the motive many Nigerians now vacation by the country’s neighbours, Benin Republic and Ghana airports.
“Nigeria has no situation with Emirates, rather towards the preferential procedure that UAE federal government gave to other international locations apart from Nigeria. The UAE federal government permitted other international locations, which includes Benin Republic and Ghana citizens to travel straight from their region to the business capital, Dubai, as against Nigerians,” he said.
However, the Handling Director of FinchglowTravels and former President of the Countrywide Affiliation of Nigeria Vacation Agencies (NANTA), Bankole Bernard, not too long ago referred to as on the federal governing administration to loosen the COVID-19 protocols to empower a lot more individuals to journey.
Speaking in line with the Global Air Vacation Association (IATA), Bernard said, “Nigeria must overview its COVID-19 protocol. But when you shut some routes that indicate we (travel agents) are heading to shed out on stock. Some other people today will capitalise on it. Government has discouraged Nigerians from taking pleasure in their tiny summer. Simply because just after you labored, you have saved up for your summer time, you should really be able to go. I don’t imagine it is reasonable we have by now broken the protocols in spot, if you don’t have your destructive COVID-19 tests. If you really don’t pay for one more COVID-19 take a look at, you can not appear into the state. So in advance of you even board the flight, all that has been done and uploaded. So I see no cause why they will consider that it is going to come from outside once more.”