Reps to probe cancellation of Nigerian travellers’ Saudi visa, asks Tinubu to save Nigeria’s image

By Deborah Hassan

365Daily – The House of Representatives has condemned the cancellation of visas of 264 Nigerian travellers on arrival at Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, via Air Peace on arrival from Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport on Monday, 13th November, 2023, while asking its Committees on Foreign Affairs, Interior and Pilgrims Affairs to probe the immediate and remote circumstances surrounding the incident.

Describing it as an embarrassment to the country, the House asked the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, take diplomatic steps as may be necessary to protect the image of the nation.

It gave the directives sequel to a motion moved by Hon. Kama Nkemkanma and three others during Tuesday plenary.

The Lawmakers urged the government to ensure full implementation of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) and to protect Nigerian national Carriers flying into Saudi Arabia, as well as the Nigerian travelling public.

In the motion, Nkemkanma informed the House that the Saudi Arabian authorities cancelled the visa of all the 264 passengers airlifted by Nigeria’s major carrier despite getting checked by the Advanced Passengers Pre-screening System, (APPS), which was also monitored live by the Saudi Arabian authorities before the flight left Nigeria.

Going further, he alleged that the treatment could be a way to force the Nigerian operator out of the route, and raised concerns that Nigerian carrier could actually be forced out of the route unless the government intervenes, probably using the principle of reciprocity.

He expressed concern that this unfortunate event and diplomatic slight on Nigeria happened even when the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, was on a state visit to Saudi Arabia.

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