The Federal Government of Nigeria on Sunday faulted the travel ban placed on Nigeria by the United Kingdom, Canada, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong but ruled out the possibility of reciprocating.
Health Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire, made the position of the Nigerian government known on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme on Sunday.
“At the moment we have no plans restricting anybody coming from another country,” he said.
“We are watching what the science community is saying and of course not rushing to judgment and we are also not applauding any lockdowns or any prohibitions or banning of flights or movement of people until we know more.
“We believe that the harm it will do to livelihoods and economies may be more than the perceived value that will be derived from shutting movement between countries. I believe countries should come together to take a common approach and that includes the UK and other countries contemplating a red list,” Ehanire added.
When asked why there was a large number of outbound Nigerian passengers testing positive abroad despite testing negative in Nigeria, Ehanire admitted that indeed, some fake test results were being presented by passengers.
The minister said the government had tightened its mechanism for spotting fake results and vaccination cards.
He, however, argued that the development was not peculiar to Nigeria, adding that most of the inbound passengers that tested positive in Nigeria were actually from the UK.
“Because of the very large volume of travellers from the UK, we also have the most positive COVID-19 virus coming from the UK too,” the minister said.