By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
In a retaliatory action taken against Canada, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, the Federal Government has announced ban of flights from the countries into Nigeria with effect from Tuesday, December 14. The move is to reciprocate restricted entry of flights from Nigeria into these countries over the newly discovered Omicron variant of COVID-19, the Minister of Aviation, Captain Hadi Sirika announced on Sunday in Lagos.
Sirika said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would also be placing the United Kingdom, Canada and Saudi Arabia on the red list over the outbreak and spread of the Omicron variant.
According to the Minister, those countries that placed Nigeria on a red list lacked the moral right to have their airlines fly into Nigeria on commercial operations.
“We have given our input that it is not acceptable by us and we recommended that Canada, the UK, Saudi Arabia and Argentina should also be put on the red list.
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“As they did to us, if they do not allow our citizens into their countries; who are they coming as airlines to pick from our country?
“They are not supposed to come in. I am very sure in the next three days, Monday or Tuesday, all those countries will be put on the red list of COVID-19,’’ Sirika said.