Feb 9, 2014

LEGISLATIVE MOTION ON BILATERAL AIR SERVICE AGREEMENT (BASA) BETWEEN NIGERIA AND UK

MOTION TO INVESTIGATE BILATERAL AIR SERVICE AGREEMENT (BASA) BETWEEN NIGERIA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM AND ITS NON-DOMESTICATION BY NIGERIAN AUTHORITIES

The House:
Notes: Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) is an agreement signed between two nations to allow international commercial air transport services between their territories. BASA, founded on the principle of reciprocity, is a deal that enables a country’s airlines to enjoy equal leverage, in terms of flight operations, in countries with which their home country has an air agreement.
Worried: During the signing of the agreement few years ago, both governments (Nigeria and United Kingdom) agreed to assist airlines owned by
both countries that wish to fly into each other’s airspace. Under the bilateral agreement between United Kingdom and Nigeria, each of the two countries would have 21 frequencies for its airlines. What this means is that British airlines would operate into Nigeria 21 times, while Nigerian airlines would also operate into Britain 21 times.

Concerned: The underlying tenet and principle behind agreement of this magnitude is equality of flights between and among airlines of signatory countries without compromising safety and security standards. However, this principle of equal partnership and stakes is being flagrantly abused by the United Kingdom. While British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are fully exploiting the Nigerian slots as contained in the BASA, same could not be said of their Nigerian counterparts.

CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
Resolves to;
1.      Request the House Committee on Aviation as well as the Committee Treaties and Agreements investigate the BASA and how beneficial are these Bilateral Air Service Agreements to Nigerian Airlines. 

2.      Request that the Ministry of Aviation, immediately forward all Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA) which Nigeria entered into for domestication to the House of Representatives in order for these treaties to have force of Law as provided in Section 12 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.

           MOTION
Honourable colleagues, I seek to present a motion to investigate thenon-domestication of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and the United Kingdom as its non –domestication and presentation to the National Assembly makes the treaty not to have the force of Law in Pursuant to Section 12 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

One of the fundamental principles of International trade and business is economic co-operation with agreements of different forms and shades as the basis for such interdependence. In Air transport, air service agreements are entered into, which should be mutually beneficial to the parties, hence the BASA.
Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) is an agreement signed between two nations to allow international commercial air transport services between their territories. Under the bilateral agreement between United Kingdom and Nigeria, each of the two countries would have 21 frequencies for its airlines. What this means is that British airlines would operate into Nigeria 21 times, while Nigerian airlines would also operate into Britain 21 times.
Recent happenings in the Aviation sector seems not to be in favour on Nigerian Airlines as deluge of complaints and displeasure are been expressed by industry operators on the lopsided nature of this agreement in favour of UK registered Airlines.
Fellow Lawmakers, further review of this situation revealed that despite the noise and cries by Nigerians on the alleged lopsided nature of this Agreement, it was revealed that this agreement was not even domesticated and lacked the Force of Law. So, it can be convincingly deduced that these Agreements are really not justiciable or enforceable under the Laws of Nigeria even if the alleged defaults by the UK authorities are indeed real.

Nigeria is a signatory to many of these treaties-be it Bilateral and Multi-Lateral agreements and suffix to say that only a few of them have really been beneficial to the people of Nigeria whom we always claimed to have been greatly considered before appending our signatures on these binding documents. Also, before treaties can have a force of Law in Pursuant to Section 12 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 they must be tabled before this Honourable House.
 
Hon. Yacoob E.A. Alebiosu 

Hon. Dayo Alebiosu is a member of the House of Representatives, representing the good people of Kosofe Federal Constituency of Lagos State and Chairman of the House Committee on Treaties and Agreements. 
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