As Nigerian government prepares for the resumption of commercial international flights into and out of the country, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed that citizens from some countries would be banned from gaining entry into Nigeria to ensure safety at its airports and the country in general.
The minister made the disclosure on Monday in Abuja while speaking at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He said ongoing considerations of which countries to place on the ban list was another reason why government had not approved the re-commencement of regular international flights.
“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,” Sirika said.
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.”
In a related development, Sirika has asked air travellers to report at the airport at least 90 minutes before their departure time for domestic flights.
The Minister made this call on Monday via Twitter.
“My colleagues and I have reviewed passenger facilitation at our airports, consequently I am happy to announce that, henceforth travellers are to arrive one hour and a half before their departure time for domestic flights,” the tweet read.
Sirika also appealed to air travellers to endeavour to check-in online.
The ministerial advice comes a month after the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) advised passengers to get to the airport at least three hours before departure due to safety checks.
Regular commercial domestic flight operations resumed in Nigeria on 11 July after they were suspended in March to contain the spread of COVID-19 across the country.
The resumption date for international flights will be announced later, FAAN has said.