Canada denied landing rights to emergency evacuation flight – minister

Nigeria Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, on Thursday said that Canada denied Nigerian carrier landing rights for a scheduled evacuation of Nigerians.

The minister, however, said that further diplomatic negotiations were ongoing on the matter.

Onyeama confirmed the development during the daily briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID- 19 in Abuja.

“It is true the Canadian Government denied landing rights to a Nigerian carrier scheduled for an evacuation duty, on grounds that the airline does not have a licence to undertake commercial flights to Canada.

“Our high commission is engaging with Canadian Government on this issue,” he said.

The minister said that Nigeria’s high commissioner to Canada was arguing that the airline was not a regular commercial flight but  an emergency evacuation flight.

“Negotiations are ongoing with the Canadian Government,” he said.

In his remarks, the National Coordinator of PTF,  Dr Sani Aliyu, said that essential workers should be allowed free movement across the country.

Aliyu added that security agents should accord citizens deserved respect and that  citizens must reciprocate such  respect.

The coordinator said  that Africans were being infected by novel  coronavirus and were not immune to it.

“Bleach is poisonous; it could kill. It is not a cure for COVID-19 .

“Hot or cold weather is not a factor in the transmission of COVID-19,” he added.

Aliyu said that the national response to COVID-19 was being driven by science.