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FG suspends passports of 2000 travelers as Nigeria exits UK’s amber list

The Nigerian government has suspended the passports of 2000 travelers who failed to undergo the mandatory arrival quarantine and other protocols after returning into the country.

Also, as vaccination drive in Nigeria gains momentum, the United Kingdom is set to remove the country from the amber list which had required Nigerian travelers to quarantine upon arrival.

The UK is also set to introduce a standardised COVID-19 vaccination certification process to allow for ease of travel from countries like Nigeria.

Nigeria is currently investigating reports of corrupt airport officials who take bribes from travelers and help them evade COVID-19 quarantine requirements. In line with this, the passports of 2000 travelers who failed to undergo the mandatory arrival quarantine and other protocols after returning into the country have been suspended for one year.

The names of the affected individuals, it was gathered, have been placed with security agencies at international airports where they will be arrested on sight.

Read Also: COVID-19 and what lies ahead for Nigerian travelers

The National Incident Manager (NIM) of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) Mukhtar Muhammad, who disclosed this at the committee’s briefing on Monday, noted that the passport of those who failed to follow protocols have been suspended for one year. This means they cannot legally travel out of Nigeria within the period under review.

Muhammad said the government had insisted that passengers who arrive in the country, especially from high-risk countries, must quarantine in a facility provided by the government.

“We have included the provision of quarantine for passengers who arrived from these high-risk countries and people who evade these protocols have been penalized by publishing their names as well as suspending their passports for one year,” Muhammad said.

According to the NIS annual report suspect index, it states that the suspect index reviews and maintains the list of persons whose entry into Nigeria is prohibited or on whom special instructions are in place with respect to entry and departure from Nigeria. The travel documents are the instruments used to achieve this objective through synergy with other law enforcement agencies and court of competent jurisdiction.

Muhammad in a press briefing stated that “On September 25, 2021, the British High Commission in Abuja released a press statement which clearly stated that the vaccines administered in Nigeria are recognised and approved by their regulatory body.

“They also clarified that from October 4, 2021, they will be simplifying the classification process to red list and the rest of the world. Nigeria however, would be moving from the amber to the rest of the world category,” he stated.

“This indicates that the ongoing vaccination exercise in Nigeria is recognised,” he added.

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