Nigeria, India To Sign Bilateral Air Services Agreement


Nigeria and India are set to sign Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) before the end of January that would enable direct flights between the two countries, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Abhay Thakur has said.
Thakur said this to newsmen at an event to commemorate the World Hindi Day and Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Abuja on Wednesday night.
The high commissioner said that the BASA was part of pending agreements to be signed between both countries.
According to him, the agreement will be signed when Nigeria’s Aviation Minister of State, Mr Hadi Sirika visits India.
“We look forward to signing an air services agreement between India and Nigeria next week, during the visit of Honourable Minister of State for Aviation to India.
“A look at the air transportation services indicates that there are about four indirect flights between India and Nigeria daily, via Dubai, Ethiopia. So, there is a huge opportunity herein and it is something that needs to be addressed urgently.
“We hope that with the growth of Nigeria’s aviation sector, we would be able to find (Nigerian) partners immediately after the signing of the aviation services agreement, “either on their own, or on a co-shared basis to operationalise the agreement and commence direct flights.”
He also said that both countries would conclude negotiations on the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement by the end of January and the agreements would boost trade and investment cooperation between them.
Thakur, who is newly appointed, presented copies of his credentials to the Acting Chief of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Mohammed Maidugu on January 4, when he assumed office in Abuja.
He said that he would focus on strengthening the development partnership between both countries by identifying projects that could access funds made available by the Indian Government for Africa.
“We are looking forward to greater development assistance through some very useful and successful India development cooperation models,” he said.