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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 22, 1999


                      Ban Lifted on Direct Flights
                 Between the United States and Nigeria

Earlier today, Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater announced that the United States is lifting our ban on direct flights to Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, Nigeria.

I congratulate President Obasanjo and his government for taking the steps necessary to remove this ban, including the overhauling of Nigeria's airport security system. These important reforms provide one more indication of the Nigerian administration's commitment to good governance. They offer new evidence that Nigeria is reversing the damage that years of corruption and mismanagement inflicted upon its international reputation.

I am deeply gratified to see a government chosen by the Nigerian people earning the trust and respect of the world. I look forward to strengthening our partnership with Nigeria even further over the coming year.

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