PUNCH – The Federal government, through the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace, has promised its commitment to support Nigerian airlines.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Emmanuel Meribole, who was represented by the Director of Air Transport Management of the Ministry, Hassan Ejibunu, disclosed this at a reception organised by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to celebrate the commencement of direct flights between Nigeria and the Caribbean country by Air Peace Airline recently.
A statement signed by the ministry’s Head Press, Public Relations, Oluseyi Odutayo, disclosed that the Federal Government continued to initiate and implement policies that ensured Nigeria’s airlines benefit from the Bilateral Air Services Agreement signed by Nigeria with other countries.
It added, “Meribole commended Air Peace for the historic feat and yet another milestone recorded for both countries, which were known to be bounded by common ancestries.
“He added that the journey would further strengthen the relationship of both countries in the areas of commerce, trade, and tourism while acknowledging the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Antiguan/Barbudan authorities for approving the designation of Air Peace by the Nigerian Aeronautical Authorities to fly the Nigerian-Antiguan route.”
The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gatson Browne in his remarks said it was a new dawn for the relationship between Nigeria and Antigua.
He emphasised the ancestral linkage between the Caribbean nations and Africa, which he referred to as the Motherland.
He said Antigua and Barbuda was home to every African and his government was desirous in promoting economic and bilateral ties with African nations within the context of the South-South cooperation.
He urged members of the business community from Nigeria and potential investors to take advantage of the favourable economic policy of his government to invest in Antigua and Barbuda.
The Prime Minister further revealed that the country was in collaboration with Air Peace Airline to float an airline known as LIAT 2020, which would commence flight operations soon.
“The airline on commencement of operations would operate in the entire Carribean countries thus making air connectivity between Africa, the entire Carribean countries and America stress-free,” he added.
Speaking earlier, a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Director, Economic, Trade and Investment, Bolaji Akinremi, said the development had signposted the beginning of a new fond relationship between Antigua and Barbuda as well as the entire Caribbean countries.
He added that the air connectivity was in sync with the foreign policy of President Bola Tinubu to integrate the economy of African nations.
Akinremi further said, “Carribean countries were considered as an integral part of Africa as the fifth bloc.”