* Meets with the Aeronautical Authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
By Helen Udoh,Outlook Media ABUJA.
In an effort to boost trade, tourism and economic relations with the oil rich State of Kuwait, Nigeria at the ongoing International Civil Aviation Negotiation (ICAN) Event of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) holding in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, signed the legal instrument of BASA for the commencement of direct flights, passengers and cargo, between Nigeria and Kuwait.
Signing the BASA on behalf of Nigeria, the Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Space Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, CON, SAN, FCIArb (UK) noted that the agreement would enhance the desired economic ties and cooperation between the two countries. This he stated was in tandem with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the current administration under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR. He underscored the important role which the Aviation Sector is positioned to play towards the successful implementation of the Renewed Hope Agenda which is aimed at bringing out over 50 million Nigerians out of poverty.
He urged the different players in the aviation sector of both countries to latch on the opportunities being provided with the signing of the BASA to derive maximum benefits from it.
Speaking at the occasion, the Acting Director General of Civil Aviation of the State of Kuwait, Engr. Emad Faleh Al-Jelwi , noted that the signing of the agreement on direct flights between his country and Nigeria signposted the beginning of a strong relationship in the areas of trade, commerce, tourism, education and other areas of socio-economic development which would be to the mutual benefits of the two countries. He expressed confidence that Nigeria being the most populous and prosperous African nation would provide his country the desired inroad to the continent of Africa. He urged both countries to maximally utilize the opportunities that are bound to come with the signing of the BASA.
Similarly, Mr. Keyamo also held bilateral talks with respect to commencement of flight operations for passengers and cargo, between Nigeria and Iran, with the Aeronautical Authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran led by the President of Iran Civil Aviation Authority, Mr. Mohammadi Bakhsh.
With The Iranian Delegation
He alluded to the fact that Iran and Nigeria had come along way and international politics should not be used as a barrier to stifle the harmonious relationship that existed between the two countries, as both countries are members of some international organizations and shared common world views and perspectives.
He assured the Iranians that he would work in concert with other government agencies towards ensuring the commencement of flight operations between the two nations.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Bakhsh had made reference to the exchange of BASA texts between both countries, which were initialed by the representatives of the Aeronautical Authorities of both countries in Tehran in 2021, and called for the operationalization of the Agreement. He informed the Minister that Tehran had designated Mahan Air for the operation of Tehran-Lagos route and requested Abuja to also designate its own carrier on the route. He believed that Nigeria and Iran had a lot to benefit from the direct air service in view of their shared common interests. He also underscored the giant strides which Iran had attained in civil aviation despite being under sanctions. He made it known that Iran’s carrier, Mahan Air, fly to over 100 destinations in the world and that Nigeria could be a hub for cargo operation for goods emanating from Tehran to Africa.