Federal Government on Monday said it would ban citizens from some countries from gaining entry into Nigeria in order to ensure safety at Nigerian airports.
It said this was another reason why government had not approved the re-commencement of commercial international flights into and out of Nigeria.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this in Abuja while speaking at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He said, “On the question about when we are beginning international travels, certainly you are very aware that so many countries had placed ban on countries that we cannot go even from Nigeria.
“Also Nigeria, of course, will place ban on other countries that cannot come in here, because everyone is trying to keep safe.”
He added, “These and many other reasons will make us to be cautious, to study some more and to liaise with all the stakeholders and decide when we will open for international flights.”
The minister said operators in the sector had wanted to fully open the airspace to local and international flights but safety must be given priority when making such decisions.
Sirika said, “In aviation, we want to open like yesterday because we are losing money; we are bleeding. But we must stay alive first before we are able to make money.”
The minister also stated that domestic flights at airports were being staggered in order not to allow crowding at the airports.
Sirika, had also said passengers on domestic flights are to arrive the airport one hour, 30 minutes more before take-off.
The review on arrival time is a reduction from the initial three hours standard set by the Ministry of Aviation and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), after the airports where reopened following the COVID-19 ban.
The minister explained that the reason for the review was because the planes have been sequenced in such a way that the crowd at the airports have been reduced drastically and hence, the decision to review the arrival time.