Posted by News Express | 16 May 2020 | 441 times
Effort by the Federal Government to evacuate stranded Nigerians in Canada is being stalled by a disagreement between the Ministries of Aviation and Foreign Affairs and the High Commission of Canada on the choice of carrier to be engaged for the exercise, The Nation has learnt.
Some officials of the High Commission, it was gathered, are rooting for a foreign airline to evacuate the Nigerians home at the expense of Air Peace, an indigenous firm, which got the nod of the federal government for the job.
The foreign airline is said to have even quoted a higher fare for the exercise than Air Peace.
Informed sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Canada High Commission opened talks with the foreign airline which has been airlifting Canadian citizens from different parts of Africa to Canada to deny a Nigerian carrier the opportunity to airlift its own citizens.
The development has not gone down well with officials of the Ministries of Aviation and Foreign Affairs, who are insisting that the Nigerian carrier has to operate the flight in tandem with government’s position that all evacuation flights must be conducted by Nigerian carriers.
A document sourced from the Canada High Commission asked the 319 prospective passengers to pay $2, 500 each to the foreign airline $1,366 more than the $1,134 charged by Air Peace.
Some of the Nigerians who have already paid for the Air Peace are complaining about the insistence of the Canada High Commission that they should come home with the foreign airline.
A former Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Benedict Adeyileka described the action of the Canada High Commission as political and urged the Federal Government to stand firm on its position that a Nigerian carrier should conduct the airlift.
“I don’t agree with what is happening,” he said.
“Anything Nigerian is good enough as long as it is qualified to carry out the operation and Air Peace has international operation experience. I insist that the Nigerian government should put its foot down on this. Nigerian carriers should not be stopped from conducting international operations.” (The Nation)
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