The Nigerian Government has accused the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of selectively implementation of its COVID19 protocol which favours other African nations against its citizens.
The government said the UAE is deliberately targeting its citizens in the enforcement of its strict COVID-19 protocol.
According to thenewsguru.com, the government lampooned its UAE counterpart of double standards by shielding other Africans in its COVID-19 enforcement protocol while making scapegoats out of Nigerians.
The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 who made the allegation on Monday in Abuja said the UAE prevented Nigerians from travelling directly from their country to Dubai and UAE’s other cities.
TheNewsGuru.com, TNG reports that there had been a back and forth approach on sanctions of erring travelers and airlines between governments of both countries since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.
Speaking on briefing in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika said Nigeria does not have an issue with how the UAE chooses to effect its COVID-19 protocol but against the country’s selective enforcement.
TNG notes that there had been 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.
The Minister explained 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,” Sirika added.
Meanwhile, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the PSC, Boss Mustapha 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.