Friday, July 19, 2013

■ NIGERIA: Kenya, Nigeria sign revised BASA; Kenya Airways eyes Abuja flights soon.

Kenya Airways (KQ) will "soon" commence direct flights to the Nigerian capital, Abuja, Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced. Mr Kenyatta made the remarks during a recently ended official visit to West Africa in which various trade and bilateral agreements were signed, among them, a revised Air Services Agreement. Speaking during a meeting with Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, at State House Abuja, he pointed out that tourism was a potentially untapped market in bilateral relations between the two countries.

Talks between Mr Jonathan & Mr Kenyatta in Abuja
Talks between Mr Jonathan & Mr Kenyatta
Mr Kenyatta said the three agreements signed are on the establishment of a Joint Commission for Cooperation, a Protocol on consultations between Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Kenya and Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and an MoU on mutual cooperation between the Foreign Service Institute of Kenya and the Foreign Service Academy of Nigeria.

He further noted that the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of tourism, currently under consideration by the two countries, will also offer other avenues for exchanges in this important sector.
Nigeria has a large middle class population, which would enjoy the numerous tourist attractions in Kenya. We want to see Nigerians stopping in Kenya for business and tourism not just transiting through Nairobi,” he said.
He added that the new Kenyan chancery and ambassador’s residence in Abuja, which he officially opened earlier in the week, is the largest Kenyan diplomatic establishment in Africa and "a clear testament" of the country’s longstanding commitment to strengthen and consolidate its bilateral relations with Nigeria.

At present, only Kenya Airways operates a service between the two growing economies - a 10x weekly Nairobi - Lagos flight - with no Nigerian carrier reciprocating.