Fact Sheet: United States - Nigeria Open Skies Agreement and Other Transportation Initiatives
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                             (Abuja, Nigeria)
For Immediate Release                                   August 26, 2000

                                FACT SHEET

               United States - Nigeria Open Skies Agreement
                   and other Transportation Initiatives

Open Skies Agreement.  The United States and Nigeria today concluded an
"Open Skies Agreement" that will expand and enhance the overall aviation
partnership between the two countries.  The agreement was signed by U.S.
Secretary of Transportation Rodney  Slater and Nigerian Transport Minister
Kimi Chickwe.   A total of 47 such agreements have been signed by the
United States, all but one under President Clinton.  The agreement will
permit unrestricted international air service by airlines of the two
countries between any city in one country with any city in the other.  The
agreement maximizes potential competition, encourages price flexibility for
passengers and shippers, and encourages improved and expanded service to
existing and new markets.

Direct Flights. The United States and Nigeria just concluded an agreement
to start a direct flight between Lagos, Nigeria and John F. Kennedy Airport
in New York.  Nigeria Airways will utilize for this flight an aircraft and
crew "wet leased" from South African Airways that will meet all South
African Airways safety and security standards.  This direct air link will
boost Nigeria's tourism sector and develop Lagos as a gateway to Africa.

The United States also announced several other transportation initiatives
with Nigeria today, including:

? a $3.58 million Nigerian Transportation Project that will include
training, technical assistance, procurement of aviation equipment, and the
development of mechanisms for the privatization of the transportation

? the signing of two memoranda of cooperation on transportation and
aviation, to formalize the U.S. commitment to provide further technical
assistance and technology exchange in the area of transportation.  Specific
activities will include training, technical assistance, procurement of
aviation equipment, education, and the development of mechanisms for the
privatization of transport services.  Cooperative activities will draw on
private sector expertise and U.S. educational institutions and will focus
on aviation, port and maritime transport, and institutional reforms aimed
at improving oversight and accountability.

Airport Security. The transportation agreements announced today build on
the strong cooperation that began last year with assistance by the Federal
Aviation Agency (FAA) to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
This assistance helped Nigeria  modernize airport and air navigation
services in Nigeria, with special emphasis on airport security at Lagos'
Murtala Mohammed International Airport.  As a result of the improvements
made, Transportation Secretary Slater was able to determine that the
airport met international security standards, and lifted the ban on service
to Lagos in December 1999.   Nigeria Airways cannot serve the U.S. with its
own planes until the Government of Nigeria brings its oversight of aviation
safety up to required international standards.

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