By Abujah Racheal
The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 has frowned at alleged adoption of double standards by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in its enforcement of its COVID-19 protocol for visitors.
The PSC said on Monday in Abuja said that UAE prevented Nigerians from travelling directly from their country to Dubai and UAE’s other cities.
The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, made this known at a briefing by the committee.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the UAE Government allowed citizens of other countries, including Benin Republic and Ghana, to travel directly from their countries to Dubai, but disallowed Nigerians citizens.
Sirika said that the COVID-19 protocol set for Nigeria by UAE was not same as what UAE announced for other nations, in spite of Nigeria’s achievements in the fight against the Coronavirus.
According to him, investigations revealed that the protocol set for Nigeria was different from that of other West African nations.
He said that was the reason many Nigerians travelled through the country’s neighbours, Benin Republic and Ghana.
“Nigeria has no issue with Emirates, but against the preferential treatment,” he added.
Earlier, Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the PSC, said that the Federal Government would continue to dialogue with representatives of the UAE on the issue.
Mustapha said that protection of the interests of Nigerians remained Nigerian Government’s primary focus.
“The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Aviation will continue to dialogue with the representatives of the UAE to resolve the issue of Emirates flights between Nigeria and the UAE.
“Protection of the interest of Nigerians remains our primary focus,” he said.