The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika recently announced that Nigeria will resume post-COVID-19 flights, at two of the nation’s gateways, Abuja and Lagos.
He gave the tentative date of 29 August, which was shifted by one week on Thursday till September 5. Adding that the country will only accept flights from countries, that have no existing travel ban against Nigerians.
Many countries, amid the COVID-19 pandemic shut their airspace and closed their borders since March. Some of them are now easing things up, but with a lot of restrictions, which are mostly not in favour of Nigeria.
Many countries, amid the COVID-19 pandemic shut their airspace and closed their borders since March. Some of them are now easing things up, but with a lot of restrictions.
Britain has Nigeria on its travel ban, just like the United States, which imposed its ban in February, alongside other countries.
For Nigerians, flights to Britain can only be on ”essential” only basis, such as medicare, studies or joining families. Those coming in outside of other exempt countries will have to abide by the 14-day quarantine rule that was put in place on June 8, including travellers coming from the United States, with the world’s heaviest coronavirus caseload.
The U.A.E clarified recently that Nigerians are welcome, amid speculations that they may have been banned because of the reputation damage caused by the arrest of international fraudsters, Ramon Abbas a.k.a Hushpuppi and Olalekan Ponle a.k.a Woodberry.
While Nigerians are welcome in the United Arab Emirates, they cannot go to Cyprus and Saudi Arabia.
The EU has also slammed an iron curtain against Nigerian travellers. It means Nigerian travellers are not welcome for now in almost all its 28-member countries.
These are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden
Up till Thursday Nigerian authorities are still gathering data on countries which have banned both Nigerian flights and passengers, ahead of 5 September.
Hadi Sirika explained the policy of reciprocity: “If they ban both the passengers and the carriers together, then that’s what’s going to happen,” Sirika said.
Sirika said imposing completely reciprocal measures ensures fairness to Nigerians.
“Our (COVID-19) numbers are not equal to the numbers we’ve seen in Europe,” Sirika said, adding that with travel bans, “we feel that it is discriminating against our people.”