From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government has asked the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to review the travel restrictions it placed on Nigeria as a result of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, made the call when he met with the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria, Faisal bin Ebraheem Al-Ghamdi.
A media aide, Ibrahim Aliyu, in a statement in Abuja, said Dada appealed to the Saudi Arabian government to, as a matter of urgency, review the travel restrictions it placed on Nigeria over the Omicron outbreak as already done by many countries that had earlier banned Nigeria, but had since reversed their stands having studied the achievements of Nigeria so far in the fight against the Omicron variant and the COVID-19 pandemic in general.
Dada said although Nigeria understood fully that the reason for the ban by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was for the best interest of its citizens, but that the steps taken so far by the Nigerian authorities to curtail the spread of the Omicron variant have made it possible for many countries to consider Nigeria as safe and remove it from the blacklisted countries.
Dada hailed the cordial relationship that existed between Saudi Arabia and Nigeria for years and continue to exist between the two countries.
While expressing optimism for a timely response on Nigeria’s request from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the minister also pledged to continue to give every necessary support and cooperation to the Saudi envoy in the discharge of his responsibility.
Responding, Al-Ghamdi expressed satisfaction with the effort that the government is making to contain the spread of Omicron and promised to convey Nigeria’s message to the relevant authorities in Saudi Arabia