Lift travel ban on Nigeria, FG tells Saudi Arabia

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has appealed to the Saudi Arabian government to reconsider its flight ban on Nigeria.

Zikrullah Hassan, NAHCON chairman, made the appeal when he visited Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Abuja.

Mr Hassan explained that the visit was to discuss issues of mutual benefit to both countries, especially regarding the annual pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia by Nigerian Muslims.

The NAHCON chairman added that the visit was also to press for lifting the flight ban as requested by the federal government.

“It is a request that has already been advanced through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other sister agencies,” he said.

Mr Hassan lauded the Saudi Arabian authorities for their efforts to ensure compensation for families of victims of the 2015 crawler crane that collapsed in Mecca.

The Saudi Arabian ambassador to Nigeria, Faisal Bin Ibraheem Al-Ghamidy, expressed hope that the flight suspension would soon end. He pledged his country’s support to Nigeria whenever necessary.

On the crane crash compensation, the diplomat said Saudi Arabia was working to ensure that the compensation was paid to the heirs or representatives of the victims as soon as possible.

The Saudi Arabian General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) had, on December 8, announced the suspension of direct flights from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia over the COVID-19 pandemic.

(NAN)

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