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Nigeria, US sign air transport agreement

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THE Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday agreed to an air transport agreement between Nigeria and the United States at its weekly virtual meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, revealed that Nigeria would take advantage of the agreement to strengthen economic, social and cultural ties with the US.

“You will recall that both the United States and Nigeria are parties to the Chicago convention on the 7, December 1994 signed article 6 of the convention actually urge parties to sign air services agreement with member states to improve social, political, and economic ties,”  Mohammed said.

The Federal Government had signed air agreements with Algeria, Congo, China, Qatar, and Singapore recently, however, Nigeria’s Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASAs) with other countries around the world is currently at 92.

A BASA is an air transport agreement between two countries and it liberalises commercial civil aviation services between the concerned nations by allowing designated airlines to operate commercial flights, covering transportation of passengers and cargoes.

The agreement has strong potentials to boost commercial cargo flights from Nigeria to the U.S based on the opportunities provided by the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) of 2000.

“The US has ratified its own and the FEC graciously accepted today to also ratify this agreement. President Buhari signed a valid agreement of air transport service between Nigeria and the US with the attendant benefits for both countries, especially as Nigeria is working towards having its own full national airline,” he said.

Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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