Nigeria, Pakistan move for direct flights to promote economic ties
Nigeria and Pakistan have begun moves for commencement of direct flights between the two nations.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, dropped the hint in Islamabad when he met with officials of civil aviation, trade and commerce to foster economic and trade relations.
A statement by Special Assistant (Media) to the minister, James Odaudu, said the mission, facilitated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Africa Centre for Asia +B Studies, made it possible for Sirika to engage Acting Secretary of Pakistan’s Ministry of Aviation, Hassan Nafir, President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as Minister of Commerce of Pakistan.
The Nigerian official, during a meeting with Nafir, agreed to promote trade and tourism.
They also resolved to revitalise existing Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA).
Consequently, officials were directed to review the pact and come up with a workable Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for early commencement of direct flights.
The agreement, the two countries observed, would quadruple passenger traffic from the 7,300 tally of last year.
President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ahsan Bakhtawari, while receiving Sirika, said the visit would provide solid foundation for fostering of trade relations between the two countries.
He decried the volume of trade valued at $210 million, urging improvement through promotion of business and establishment of Nigeria-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture and visit of trade delegations.
He submitted that trade between both nations could only be boosted when a direct flight between both countries exists, urging Sirika to facilitate that.
During his interaction with Pakistani Minister of Commerce, Syed Qamar, Sirika and his host agreed that deliberate efforts should be made to improve level of trade and air link, identified as one of the major catalysts, besides reviewing of visa restrictions to boost trade, tourism and commerce.
Specifically, the Nigerian minister urged Pakistani business leaders to leverage the numerous opportunities in the most populous black nation.