Another milestone is about to be recorded in the aviation sector as President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda paves way for the signing of a Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the State of Israel.
Previous attempts to sign the BASA between the two countries in 2005 and 2012 were unsuccessful.
According to the special meassistant to the Minister of Aviation, Joe Obi, the agreement would be signed this week during President Jonathan’s pilgrimage to Israel.
He said this was a culmination of months of rigorous negotiations between the two countries.
His words, “The landmark agreement comes as a clear validation of the nation’s high safety and security ratings by international aviation bodies, especially the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and an improvement on infrastructure in the aviation sector in the last two years. The agreement will pave way for direct flights between both territories on the Principle of Reciprocity by the designated airlines of both countries.” Before now Nigerians travelling to Israel, including christian pilgrims, have had to endure the long stop-overs in neighbouring countries before being finally airlifted to the Holy Land.
Obi also said the agreement adequately addresses the question of imbalance in the BASA between Nigeria and other contracting countries. Under the terms of this agreement, Nigeria and the State of Israel would enjoy equal rights and privileges in the implementation of the BASA.