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‘Why Canada denied Nigerian carrier landing permit’

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Reps to probe engagement of foreign carriers for evacuation

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has explained why the Canadian government denied the Nigerian carrier that was to evacuate stranded citizens from the North American nation.

Addressing the daily press conference of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 yesterday in Abuja, he stated that the airline was denied landing right owing to its non-possession of a licence to operate the commercial flight in that country.

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Onyeama, however, said the Nigerian Ambassador to Canada was engaging the authorities to reverse the decision.

He pointed out that the argument being put forward by the envoy was that the plane is not a regular commercial flight to Canada to take passengers but an emergency one.

Moreover, the House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Aviation to urgently investigate the preference of foreign operators to the indigenous ones by the relevant authorities for the evacuation of about 6000 trapped Nigerians abroad.

The resolution followed a motion sponsored by Mohammad Shamsudeen Bello (APC – Kano) and eight others.

The designated carrier, Air Peace, yesterday disclosed that the exercise did not go as planned due to “logistics issues as communicated to the airlines by the Nigerian High Commission in Canada.”

The PTF, Ministry of Aviation and Foreign Affairs Ministry had explained circumstances under which airlines like British Airways, Emirates and Ethiopian Airlines came in to airlift the affected Nigerians from the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States of America (USA).

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