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Minister speaks on why evacuation of Nigerians from UK rescheduled

By Oluwaseun Sonde

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The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Geoffrey Onyeama has said that having been allowed to carry out one very successful evacuation of Nigerians from London at very low fares, Air Peace in coordination with the Nigerian Government and full knowledge of the UK authorities scheduled two additional flights.

Disclosing this on the official social platform of the ministry on Sunday, he said all the arrangements were made including payments, only for the UK authorities to withdraw landing rights close to departure despite strong representations by the Nigerian Government including pointing out the hardship that would be caused to hundreds of Nigerian evacuees.

He added that Air Peace could have just refunded the passengers but exceptionally, patriotically and altruistically agreed to find an alternative carrier acceptable to the UK authorities to carry out the evacuation a day later than scheduled but for much higher fares.

“These higher fares could legitimately have been passed on to the evacuees but Air Peace bore this huge cost itself. This is to let the aggrieved evacuees know that the objects of their grievance should neither be Air Peace nor the Nigerian Government”, he said.

He asked the Evacuees to rather be eternally grateful to Air Peace. “The Nigerian Government will review its Air agreements with various countries as a result of the unacceptable treatment of Nigerian carriers during this pandemic.”


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