Reps Committee - Don’t use foreign airline to evacuate stranded Nigerians
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Rep. Nnolim Nnaji, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, has prompted the Federal Government against utilizing remote aircraft to clear abandoned Nigerians from Canada.

Nnaji, speaking to Nkanu East/West Federal Constituency of Enugu State, said in an announcement in Lagos on Sunday that the House would not approve it.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there was tenacious refusal by the Canadian specialists to give Air Peace aircraft landing rights for the departure of abandoned Nigerians in Canada.

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NAN reports that the Canadian Government was asserted to have offered inclination to Ethiopian Airline for clearing of abandoned Nigerians craving to get back home as against the Air Peace which the team has just drawn in for the departure.

Air Peace is charging 1,134 dollars for each traveler as against the total of 2,500 dollars charged by the Ethiopian Airline.

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Nnaji, in any case, said that the situation of the House of Representatives was extremely clear on the issue of departure flights.

The administrator clarified that the House had on May 12 received the movement against the utilization of outside carriers for clearing of abandoned Nigerians in different nations.

Nnaji said the House had encouraged President Muhammadu Buhari to coordinate the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Aviation, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and pertinent Ministerial Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on the movement.

He said the House had encouraged them to guarantee that Nigerian Airlines appreciate the privilege of first refusal in quite a while where Nigerians should be cleared from different nations.

“The House of Representatives had insisted that the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Aviation and indeed the COVID-19 Task Force must explore all available diplomatic channels to ensure that a Nigerian airline operate the evacuation flight out of Canada.

“The aviation committee has also observed that Canadian authorities has no reason to deny Air Peace landing right.

“This is because available records had shown that the airline has the require certification and approvals to operate internationally.

“Our findings have shown that Air Peace is International Air Transport Association’s Safety Oversight Audit (IOSA) certified.

“This means that the airline has a major international parameter for measuring airlines’ safety standards,” he said.

Nnaji said that there was need for the Canadian Government to treat the flight as a special emergency occasioned by Coronavirus pandemic and immediately grant the necessary approvals to the Air Peace.

Similarly, the lawmaker said the committee had summoned the COVID-19 Task Force and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aviation and agencies to appear before it on Thursday.

Nnaji explained that the committee summoned those directly or indirectly involved in the earlier evacuation flights handled by the British Airways, Emirates and Ethopian Airlines from the UK, United Arab Emirates and America.