International airlines flying into Nigeria have been directed by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to fly passengers to the country without the evidence of payment for the Day-7 Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test or Generate paid Quick Response (QR) Code.
A circular signed by Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General of NCAA, dated September 11, 2021, with the reference number: NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/317 and attention accountable managers and country managers of the various airlines and obtained by our correspondent, said that the directive was necessary following the challenges faced by the travelling public to the country.
The circular, which was also, copied Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19. Ministers of Aviation, Health, Information and Culture and Head, Technical Secretariat, Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19, stated that some travellers to Nigeria are experiencing challenges to fill their health and travel history into the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP).
The circular added: “Airlines are hereby permitted to board any traveller to Nigeria who is unable to either pay for the repeat Day-7 Covid PCR test or generate the paid QR code/permit to fly. Such passengers will be required to make payment for the repeat Da-7 Covid-19 PCR test at their destination airport in Nigeria.
“Holders of diplomatic passports and children aged 10 years and below who are unable to complete the NITP are to be allowed to board the flight. Their health declaration and travel history will be captured by the Port Health Services (PHS) at the destination airport.”
The circular also directed all the international airlines to bring the information to the knowledge of their passengers and ensure strict compliance with the stated conditions.
It would be recalled that some travellers into Nigeria have in recent months faced some challenges in generating the PCR code after payment of the statutory fees.
This has led to chaos at the nation’s international airports for those who were able to board their flights to Nigeria, while hundreds of passengers are left stranded in their ports of departure by their supposed airlines.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), recently disclosed that it was working with other ministries and agencies through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to address challenges faced by travellers to Nigeria.
The NCDC identified the travellers as those using the Nigerian International Travel Portal. The measures included – “All travellers arriving in Nigeria must have tested negative for COVID-19 by PCR in the county of departure pre-boarding. The PCR test must be done within 96 hours before departure and preferably within 72 hours.