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Omicron: We’re Working to Reverse Travel Ban – FG

The Minister of Avaition, Mr Hadi Sirika , says the federal government has initiated displomatic steps to make the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Canada reverse the travel ban they slammed on Nigeria as a result of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Sirika, said this in Abuja Monday at an emergency media briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19.

Media reports had quoted Sirika to have said that the government would retaliate the ban from these countries.

But he said yesterday that “The PSC is working with mandate ministries to address the issues surrounding the restriction imposed by some countries on travellers from Nigeria on account of the Omicron variant.

“While each country is entitled to put in place measures to protect its citizens; Nigeria has similar responsibilities.

“However, based on existing relationships, Nigeria has initiated diplomatic steps to make these countries reverse their course. This is on-going in the interest of all parties concerned and we expect that positive results would emerge within the next one week.

“The PSC also evaluated the developments on the relationship between Nigeria and the UAE and we are pleased to inform you that the position of the federal government is in line with established ICAO protocols and the spirit of the BASA signed with the UAE.

“Our sovereignty remains paramount and mutual respects shall be our guiding principle in as much as it should be in the best interest of Nigeria. The PSC will at its next regular briefing on Monday, December 20, 2021 brief you fully on developments.”

Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, said Nigeria would no longer accept vaccines with short-shelf-life.

He said that over a million of the expired vaccines which had been withdrawn would be destroyed publicly by the National Agency for Food Drugs and Administration Control in line with environmental protocol at a date yet to be decided.

He said that over 10 million vaccines with short-shelf -life received free of charge had been administered so far in the country.


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