Nigeria will enforce the principle of
reciprocity in granting permission to
airlines to resume operations into the
country as it opens its airspace , the
Federal Government said on Thursday.
According to the government , what this
means is that only airlines from countries
that allow flights from Nigeria will be
allowed to fly into and out of Nigeria.
It specifically stated that airlines from the
European Union would not be allowed
into Nigeria as the EU had recently
banned flights and visitors from Nigeria .
On July 2 , 2020 , The PUNCH reported that
the Council of the European Union had
opened its borders to 15 countries,
excluding Nigeria .
According to information obtained from
the EU website at the time , Nigeria was
still not a part of the countries from where
visitors were allowed into Europe .
Speaking at Thursday’s briefing of the
Presidential Task Force on COVID- 19 , the
Minister of Aviation , Hadi Sirika, said
Nigeria ’s position was informed by the
ban placed by some countries on flights
from Nigeria .
The minister, who was represented by the
Director – General , Nigerian Civil Aviation
Authority , Capt . Musa Nuhu , argued that
the decision was taken in the interest of
He said , “ On the list of countries ( that are
banned ) , we are working on the
comprehensive list, but the main one that
came up is when the EU opened their
borders effective 1 st July, Nigeria was
among the list of 54 countries that were
not allowed to enter the EU .
“ To my understanding , as the situation
changes , they are going to look at the list
and change it . But so far , we don’t have
any contrary information to that first one
that Nigeria is banned from going to the
“ So , as we open our airspace , we are going
to apply the issue of reciprocity to those
( EU) countries .”
Sirika also stated that airlines would be
informed on arrangements that had been
put in place to ensure that the resumption
of flights were hitch – free .
He stated that for now, only a few flights
per day would be permitted , adding that
they would operate as test runs of the
protocols put in place to ensure the safe
return to international operations.
The protocols , according to him, would be
made public in due course .
Sirika also stated that inbound
international passengers would be limited
to 1 ,280 .
He said only this number would be
allowed to fly into the Lagos and Abuja
airports once international flights resume
on August 29 , 2020 .