Buhari’s Questionable Deal with Qatar
by Olusegun Adeniyi
President Muhammadu Buhari was in Qatar last week and the major news that came out of the visit was the signing of Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and Qatar to pave way for direct flights between major cities of both countries.
While I continue to wonder whether any due diligence was done by the relevant authorities before committing Nigeria to such an agreement, there are pertinent questions as to whose idea this BASA deal is. Since Nigeria currently has no national carrier, it stands to reason that Qatar initiated the idea and that is where the problem lies: I don’t believe that the interest of our people was served by the agreement.
Early in January this year, I got a mail from a lady, Mrs Chioma Okigbo, narrating one of those unpleasant experiences to which Nigerians are usually subjected in their own country. On receiving the mail (with supporting documents), I immediately forwarded them to THISDAY aviation editor, Chinedu Eze, asking him to investigate the claims and give me a feedback. Since Mrs Okigbo’s enclosed her phone number, I also called to assure her I would follow up on the matter. It took Chinedu a week to get back to me but he confirmed Mrs Okigbo’s story. Now, this was what she wrote in her mail:
“Dear Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi,
“I felt a need to share an event that happened to me with you. On 19th November, 2015, I accessed Qatar Airways website with the intention of purchasing a ticket to visit Doha and Dubai. The