False claim circulates that Nigerian govt bans ‘Ghana must go’ bags at all airports

ON December 1, 2023, several Nigerian media platforms reported that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had instituted a ban on the use of travel sacks, popularly known as ‘Ghana Must Go’ bags, by passengers at all airports across the nation.

This followed a circular allegedly issued by FAAN titled ‘Re: Prohibition of Usage Of Ghana Must Go,’ dated November 24 and reportedly signed by Henok Gizachew, the Manager of Airport Services.

Ghana-must-go bags are popular sac-like load carriers in Nigeria that come in different sizes and colours and are preferred by many travellers due to their durability and affordability.

According to the new reports, passengers were advised to forfeit its usage and instead, use cartons or something related to it to pack items for travelling. 

Several media platforms including Arise News, Vanguard and BusinessDay newspapers misreported the statement as issuance of general issuance on the use of the bag in all airports across Nigeria.

Other news platforms have deleted the report from their websites; and due to its virality, we present the true story in this report for record. 

 

THE CLAIM 

FG bans ‘Ghana must go’ bags in all Nigerian airports.

Screenshot of the media report published by BusinessDay in Nigeria. INSERT: False verdict.

THE FINDINGS 

Findings by FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE. 

Contrary to what is being reported in some sections of the media, Ethiopian Airlines is the only organisation that imposes this regulation on its passengers; the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has not issued a mandate prohibiting “Ghana-must-go” baggage.

According to an accurate news report by The Punch, Ethiopian Airlines on November 24, 2023 sent a letter to the Regional Manager of FAAN expressly notifying them that passengers boarding Ethiopian Airlines flights from Nigeria will not be allowed to bring “Ghana-must-go” bags.

This restriction does not apply to other airlines that operate in Nigeria; it only affects passengers travelling on Ethiopian Airlines.

Meanwhile, the FAAN has clarified, in a post on X (formerly Twitter), that the directive was from Ethiopian Airlines and not the Nigerian government.

The agency also shared the original notice from the Ethiopian Airlines addressed to her “valued passengers”.

The statement read, “We would like to inform you of a restriction regarding the usage of irregularly shaped packages on Ethiopian Airlines flights. It is strictly prohibited to bring “Ghana must go” bags unless they are adequately packed in a carton or hardcover rectangular container.




    “This restriction has been implemented due to the frequent occurrence of damages to conveyor belts at various airports, resulting in significant costs incurred by the airlines involved.

    “We kindly request your cooperation in complying with this rule to ensure the smooth operation of our flights and to minimize any potential disruptions caused by damaged conveyor belts.”

     

    THE VERDICT

    The claim that the Nigerian government banned the use of the “Ghana Must Go” bags in all airports is FALSE; findings show that the directive is restricted to passengers of Ethiopian Airlines only.

    This report is republished from the FactCheckHub.

    Nurudeen Akewushola is an investigative reporter and fact-checker with The ICIR. He believes courageous in-depth investigative reporting is the key to social justice, accountability and good governance in the society. You can shoot him a scoop via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 on Twitter.

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