With effect from Tuesday, December 14, the Federal Government will restrict flights into Nigeria from Canada, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia.
Capt. Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation, announced the decision on Sunday in Lagos, explaining that it was to reciprocate restricted flights from Nigeria into those countries using the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron.
Sirika stated that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would also place the United Kingdom, Canada, and Saudi Arabia on a red list due to the outbreak and spread of the Omicron variant.
The minister stated that if those countries placed Nigeria on a red list, their airlines would have no moral right to fly into Nigeria on commercial flights.
“There is also the case of Saudi Arabia, which placed Nigeria on the list of countries banned from entering the country.” On Sunday, I attended a meeting of the COVID-19 task force.
“We have given our input that it is not acceptable to us, and we have recommended that Canada, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Argentina be added to the red list as well.”
“As they did to us, if they do not allow our citizens to enter their countries, who are they coming to pick from our country as airlines?” “I am confident that within the next three days, on Monday or Tuesday, all of those countries will be added to the COVID-19 red list,” the minister said.
He emphasized that the affected countries’ airlines remained banned, and the countries were placed on Nigeria’s red list.
Sirika apologized to Nigerians who planned to visit those countries, but stated that the Nigerian government’s decision was in the best interests of the country.