THE Nigerian government has vowed to put the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Canada on the red list following their decision to impose travel restrictions on Nigeria over the outbreak of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika made this known in Lagos on Sunday.
He revealed that the decision would be made by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 latest by Tuesday.
“We have given our input in aviation, it is not acceptable by us and we recommend that those countries – Canada, the UK, Saudi Arabia, and Argentina – be also put on red list, as they did similarly to us,” he said.
“If they don’t allow our citizens to go into their countries, who are their airlines coming to pick from our country?
“So, I am very sure that in the next few days, between now and Monday, or perhaps Tuesday, at maximum, all those countries will be put on the red list from the PSC (Presidential Steering Committee) from the task force of COVID-19. Once they are put on the red list, which means they are banned, of course, their airlines will be banned.”
He added that though the country was going through a difficult moment, the decision had to be in the country’s interest.
The UK, Canada and Saudi Arabia have denied entry to Nigerians, following the confirmation of six cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The Federal Government has condemned the decisions, especially that of the UK.
Last week, Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed described the UK’s ban as discriminatory, unfair, punitive, indefensible, and unjust.