Festus Keyamo, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, met with Trinidad and Tobago High Commissioner Wendell De Landro in Abuja to conclude the ratification of Nigeria’s Bilateral Air Services Agreement with the Caribbean nation.
Tunde Moshood, Keyamo’s Special Adviser for Media and Communications, issued a statement on Tuesday confirming this.
The ratification is expected to pave the way for direct flights between the two countries.
The BASA agreement was launched about 15 years ago but was not ratified until recently.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Ambassador, Victoria Mendez-Charles, expressed her country’s desire to engage into an aviation agreement with Nigeria during a courtesy visit to the then-Minister of Aviation, Babatunde Omotoba, in 2009.
BASA, also known as an air transport agreement, is a treaty between two countries that establishes the terms under which air services can be provided between them.
According to the statement, “The initiative stems from the recognition that the current travel routes between Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago are arduous and time-consuming, frequently taking up to 24 hours or more on connecting flights.”
“With a direct flight, the travel may be completed in under seven and a half hours. This huge reduction in travel time is expected to transform bilateral relations and boost economic and cultural contacts between the two countries.”
De Landro emphasized his desire to expedite the process.
He emphasized the opportunities for increased tourism, entertainment, and trade that a direct airline connection would provide.
In response, Keyamo praised the High Commissioner’s initiative, pointing out the strong cultural parallels between Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago.
He stated, “This agreement is commendable and timely.” It will not only strengthen ties between our countries, but will also create various economic opportunities.”
To guarantee quick progress, the minister has instructed the formation of a dedicated working committee tasked with expediting the ratification process and facilitating the participation of a dedicated airline to serve the direct route.