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Omicron: FG asks Saudi Arabia to remove travel restrictions

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada and Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria Faisal bin Ebraheem Al-Ghamdi. Photo: Hamza Alkali

The Federal Government has called on the Saudi Authority to as a matter of urgency review the travel restrictions placed on Nigerians over the outbreak of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada made the call when he met with the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Faisal bin Ebraheem Al-Ghamdi in Abuja.

He said the purpose of the visit was to discuss the recent restrictions placed on Nigerians intending to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the outbreak of the Omicron Variant of COVID 19 across the globe.

Ambassador Dada noted that the country had understood fully the reason for the ban by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was for the best interest of its citizens, but the steps taken so far by Nigeria 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 blacklist countries.

While expressing optimism for a timely response to Nigeria’s request from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Minister also pledged to continue to give every necessary support and cooperation to the Ambassador in the discharge of his responsibility.

The Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Faisal bin Ebraheem Al-Ghamdi while responding to Nigeria’s request for the lifting of the travel ban, expressed satisfaction with the effort the government is making to contain the spread of Omicron and promised to convey Nigeria’s message to the relevant Authorities back home in Saudi Arabia.

Ambassador Al-Ghamdi thanked the Minister for his commitment to improved bilateral relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Writing by Hamza Alkali; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino