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Nigeria, Rwandan sign airspace pact

Rwanda’s Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, and Nigeria’s  Hadi Abubakar Sirika.

LAGOS–– Rwanda and Nigeria Monday signed an airspace agreement letting Rwanda’s national carrier RwandAir to fly in Nigeria’s airspace.

According to sources, the pact was signed in the Rwandan capital Kigali by Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, Rwanda’s state minister for transport and Nigerian state minister in charge of aviation Hadi Abubakar Sirika.

Both officials agreed to cooperate in the areas of training and the sharing of aviation expertise between Rwanda and Nigeria’s aviation sectors.

Industry analysts say the deal will boost air traffic and transport between the two countries and boost trade said Uwihanganye after signing the agreement.

The Rwandan transport chief said the agreement is reciprocal with interconnectivity between the two countries. Adding, it will facilitate growth in the private sectors of both countries by boosting economic and social benefits.

By signing and opening more routes, RwandAir will continue to provide Rwanda’s private sector with enormous opportunities in an economically vibrant and large market, he said.

“Air transport has the capacity to connect people, markets, and cultures. Therefore, this agreement is a great step towards connecting the people of Nigeria with Rwanda,” said Sirika.

According to officials, RwandAir currently flies to Lagos with plans to start flights to Abuja in May 2018.

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Dave Okonjie

Dave Okonjie is a public affairs analyst, researcher and senior issues correspondent.
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