WIFE of Nigeria’s president, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, has appealed to the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to waive COVID-19 tests for the country’s citizens returning from Ukraine.
She made the call Sunday morning on her verified Facebook Page.
The First Lady also called on the Federal Government to abolish similar payments for all home-bound children and reduce fees chargeable for the tests to all Nigerians.
“I am pleased to learn of efforts by our diplomats to facilitate the safe return of our teeming citizens from Ukraine.
“I plead with the leadership of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 to wave the payment for their Covid test in lieu of their arrival, abolish similar payments for all home-bound children and reduce the fees chargeable for the tests to all Nigerians,” Mrs. Buhari said.
She made the call against the backdrop of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia – an act that has received global condemnation.
Children, other dependents, and thousands of Ukraine residents have been traumatised and displaced by the invasion, resulting in heavy devastations to Ukraine’s city of Kyiv and some of the country’s suburbs. But the Ukrainians are fighting back, destroying many of the Russian’s tanks, capturing and killing its soldiers.
Over 12,000 Nigerian students and other citizens are reportedly trapped in the country.
The Nigerian PTF recommended that passengers travelling to Nigeria from any country carry out a COVID-19 PCR test within 48 hours to the day of travel and test negative.
Such travellers must register and make payment on the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP) for a repeat PCR test to be carried out after arrival.
Travellers pay between N36,000 and N50,000, according to the government.
Upon arrival in Nigeria, fully vaccinated travellers should conduct a COVID-19 PCR test on day two.
The government punishes passengers who do not adhere to the protocol.
The ICIR reported how Russia invaded Ukraine against the international norm on Thursday.
This newspaper had also explained what the world should know about the conflict in its earlier report.
On Thursday, the Nigerian embassy in Ukraine had told the citizens to take responsibility for their security.
But the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Diaspora Commission on Saturday, listed some routes that Nigerians in the war-hit nation could take to safety.
Meanwhile, African leaders have been silent, while world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, have condemned the assault.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Pope Francis are among leaders of groups that have called out defiant Russian President Vladimir Putin over the hositility.
To support the calls by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for troops and armaments support, the North Atlantic Trade Organization (NATO), comprising the United States, most European Union members, the United Kingdom and Canada have deployed weapons and troops around Ukraine’s borders.
Some nations, including the US, UK, France, Canada, New Zealand, and the EU, have also sanctioned Russia over the invasion.
The sanctions target military exports, oil firms, banks, among others.