By Bukar Bolori
The Federal Government has met with the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the country, Ambassador Faisal bin Ebraheem Al-Ghamdi to discuss the recent restrictions placed on Nigerians intending to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following the outbreak of the Omicron Variant of COVID 19 across the globe.
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada who met the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria on the issue, appealed to the Saudi Authority to as a matter of urgency review the travel restrictions its placed on Nigerians over the Omicron outbreak as already done by many countries who have earlier banned Nigeria but have since reversed their stands having studied the achievements of Nigeria so far in the fight against the Omicron Variant and the Coronavirus pandemic in general.
Dada said that although Nigeria understood fully that the reason for the ban by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was for the best interest of its citizens, but however stressed that the steps taken so far by Nigeria Authorities to curtail the spread of the Omicron Variant have made its possible for many countries to considered Nigeria as safe and removed it from the blacklist countries.
He commended the cordial relationship that existed 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 Ambassador in the discharge of his responsibility.
The Saudi Arabian Ambassador 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 relant Authorities back home in Saudi Arabia
He said just like in Nigeria where there are bodies in charge of monitoring and the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Saudi Arabia also has similar agencies that are responsible for monitoring and recommendations on the issues of corona.
Al-Ghamdi thanked the Minister for his commitment to improved bilateral relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia