The Federal Government has explained why it has not imposed travel ban, particularly to and from UK, over the mutated strain of Covid-19 disease.
The government said it will require the agreement of neighbouring countries for the travel ban to be effective.
According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the disclosure was made by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while featuring on a Radio Nigeria programme, “Politics Nationwide’’ on Tuesday in Abuja.
The minister pointed out that the federal government is working with the West African Health Organizations and other neighbouring countries, especially Benin Republic, Ghana and Togo.
Mohammed during the programme said, ”Although the government is concerned over the importation of the COVID-19 new strain, it did not want to take a hasty decision.’’
“We did not want to take a hasty decision to ban flight from the UK into Nigeria only to find out our people are going through Cotonou, Lome or Accra to come into the country.
“What the Airlines will do is to transfer Nigerian passengers to these routes and they will enter the country through the land borders. This will lead to hardship to Nigerians because if you transfer your economy to other countries you lose a lot of money
“However, if we get the concurrence of these other countries, we will not hesitate to do the needful. We are consulting and being very careful in order to take a proper decision,’’ he said.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 had said the government was considering restricting international travel into Nigeria as fear of the outbreak of a second wave heightens.
- Some notable Nigerians have called for the shutdown of the country’s border due the second wave of the pandemic. The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, had asked the federal government to immediately restrict flights from the United Kingdom, amid reports of a new strain of the coronavirus disease in the UK.