The Federal Government has assured that it would continue to initiate and implement policies that ensure indigenous airlines benefit from the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) signed by Nigeria with other countries.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace, Dr Emmanuel Meribole gave the assurance, at a reception to celebrate the commencement of direct flights between Nigeria and the Caribbean country by Air Peace Airline, according to a statement on Thursday by the head, Press and Public Affairs Odutayo Oluseyi.
At the reception organized by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, Meribole who was represented by the Director of Air Transport Management, Mr. Hassan Ejibunu said the federal government has shown commitment to the continuous support of Nigerian airlines.
He commended Air Peace for the historic feat and yet another milestone recorded for both countries which were known to be bounded by common ancestries.
He added that the journey would further strengthen the relationship of both countries in the areas of commerce, trade, and tourism while acknowledging the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Antiguan/Barbudan authorities for approving the designation of Air Peace by the Nigerian Aeronautical Authorities to fly the Nigerian-Antiguan route.
The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Mr. Gatson Browne in his remarks said “it’s a new dawn for the relationship between Nigeria and Antigua”. He emphasized the ancestral linkage between the Caribbean nations and Africa, which he referred to as the Motherland.
He said Antigua and Barbuda was home to every African and his government is desirous in promoting economic and bilateral ties with African nations within the context of the South-South cooperation.
He urged members of the business community from Nigeria and potential investors to take advantage of the favorable economic policy of his government to invest in Antigua and Barbuda.
The Prime Minister further revealed that the country was in collaboration with Air Peace Airline to float an airline known as LIAT 2020 which would commence flight operations soon.
The airline, he said , on commencement of operations would operate in the entire Carribean countries thus making air connectivity between Africa, the entire Carribean countries, and America stress-free.
While speaking earlier, a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Bolaji Akinremi Director, Economic, Trade, and Investment said the development had signposted the beginning of a new fond relationship between Antigua and Barbuda as well as the entire Caribbean countries.
He said the air connectivity was in sync with the Foreign policy of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, GCFR of integrating the economy of African nations.
Akinremi further said, Carribean countries were considered an integral part of Africa as the fifth bloc.
He further stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would continue to foster the new fond relationship by promoting Bilateral meetings between the business communities of both counties.
The event had in attendance members of the business community from Nigeria and top government functionaries from the Republic of Antigua and Barbuda also had in attendance the Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyeama.