Aviation Minister, Sirika, warns foreign airlines against mistreating Nigerians

Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has warned airline operators, especially international airlines, against shabby treatment of Nigerian passengers who travel on board their flights.

Mr. Sirika gave the warning when a delegation from the Emirates Group paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja, a statement by James Odaudu, the Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs Unit, Office of the Minister, on Monday, said.

The statement said the minister warned that the government would no longer condone the practice of subjecting Nigerian travellers to all forms of suffering.

It said that Mr. Sirika specifically warned against making them walk long distances before boarding or using small aircraft that would not carry them along with their luggage to their destinations.

“Sirika informed the group that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has been directed to invoke all relevant laws to protect the interest and rights of Nigerians and others from being flagrantly abused by airlines.

“He, however, assured the operators of the Federal Government’s commitment to complete the overhaul and upgrading of the nation’s airport facilities to make the use of Nigeria’s airspace a delightful experience.”

The statement added that the minister gave assurance that the second terminal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, now under construction, would be ready before the end of the year.

It added that the completion of the project would improve the comfort and convenience of both airline operators and the flying public.

It said that Mr. David Broz, the Vice president Aeropolitical and Industry Affairs, Emirate Group, had earlier pledged the commitment of the airline to serve Nigeria better, being its second biggest market in Africa.

He commended the government for its efforts to upgrade airports’ facilities and promised that the group would continue to maintain a good relationship with Nigeria, to ensure its smooth operation in the country. (NAN)

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