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International flight: Nigeria Vows to Retaliate EU, Other Countries’ Ban



Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika

According to the PTF, the 1280 passengers are those that will be allowed to fly into two airports authorized to operate international flights for now – the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja.

The Task Force also said it will ban countries that have banned Nigeria and its residence from flying into it.

It, however, disclosed that a decision has not been taken on the amount to be paid by international passengers for the COVID-19 test upon arrival.

Sirika, who was represented by the Director-General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Musa Nuhu, said: “Since the announcement of the resumption of international flight from 29th August was made, we have ramped up preparations. We have been preparing and we are almost there, a few logistics to be resolved within the next few days.

“We are going to start partially with Lagos and Abuja airports and we are going to restrict the number of passengers coming in initially to about 1280 both to Lagos and Abuja airport while other logistics are being put in place before we ramp the number of passengers that will be allowed to come in.

“So, we are working on the logistics and the process on how to determine which flights will be allowed to come and that should be done by tomorrow and hopefully, by Monday we will get everything in place.”

On the ban placed on Nigerians from flying into certain countries, the minister said: “There are certain countries that have placed a ban on Nigeria and its residents from going to their countries; in this process, we are going to determine who and who will be allowed to fly into Nigeria and the principle of reciprocity will be applied.

“The conditions you give Nigerians who travel to your country will be applied. If you ban us from coming to your country, the same will apply the other way.

“We are working on the comprehensive list but the list that is out is when the European Union (EU) opened their borders effective July 1, Nigeria was one of the 54 countries that were not allowed to enter EU.

“By my understanding, they said as the situation changes, they will look at it and change it but so far, we don’t have any contrary information to that first list where Nigeria is banned and not allowed entry into the EU but we are also looking at other countries and as we open our airspace, we are going to apply the issue of reciprocity to those countries.”

On efforts made to ensure smooth operation when flight resumes, he said: “We had a meeting with foreign airlines yesterday via zoom and we gave them our requirements on the resumption of flights and for those who will ultimately be allowed to resume flight operations to Nigeria and so far, we have gotten a positive response from quite a number of them in meeting our requirements.

“So, we are almost finished discussing with the health authorities on the protocols for people coming in on the test of COVID-19 and hopefully by the close of work tomorrow, everything will be ready and the information will be officially given to all the airlines on the requirements for people to come into Nigeria.”

The minister spoke on what will happen to flight crew members on arrival, whether they will be quarantined or not.

He said: “The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) does not recommend quarantine of crew. What we have in place is that the crew goes to the hotel, they stay in their hotel rooms and they isolate from mixing and whenever they are ready, they go to the airports and they jump into the plane and go.

“Most of the crew stay in Nigeria for just a day and some airlines and countries demand that the crew have a COVID test before they fly and they are also required to provide their health information.”

On the amount to be paid for the COVID-19 test after eight days on arrival by international passengers, the National Coordinator, Dr. Sani Aliyu said: “We are still working on the platforms and as soon as that is available, it will probably be a competitive process and hopefully, that will reduce the cost for passengers.”



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EDO 2020 UPDATES: Godwin Obaseki wins polling unit



Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has won his polling unit in the ongoing governorship election in the state.

Voting at Polling Unit 19, Ward 4, Oredo Local Government Area, Obaseki polled 184 votes while All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, got 62 votes.

In Unit 21 of the same ward, the PDP garnered 53 votes while the APC polled 33 votes.

Obaseki’s PDP polled 70 votes ahead of Ize-Iyamu’s APC that garnered 65 votes. In Unit 23, it was PDP 101, APC 32.

In Unit 24 of the same Oredo Ward 4, PDP won with 94 votes, while the APC got 50 votes.

Also in the same ward, Unit 25, the PDP got 33 votes ahead of the APC’s 22 votes.

Casting of ballots ended in most of the areas at 2:30pm

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School building collapses in Lagos (photos)



A three-story building belonging to a private school in the Ejigbo area in Lagos state collapsed on Saturday, September 19.

The affected school, Excel College, which is located at 15, Ansarudeen Street, Ile-Epo Bus-Stop, collapsed at about 8.15 am. So far, there are no reports of casualties recorded.

According to eyewitnesses, the privately-owned building belonging to Excel College had previously shown signs of distress and the school was planning to renovate the structure before the collapse.


School building collapses in Lagos (photos)School building collapses in Lagos (photos)

by Linda Ike

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Edo election: I’m disappointed, says Obaseki after voting



Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has expressed displeasure over the conduct of the ongoing governorship election in the state.

He said the Independent National Electoral Commission should have prepared better for the election.

Obaseki spoke after casting his vote at Polling Unit 19, Ward 4, Oredo Local Government Area.

The governor lamented that he stayed for over one and a half hours in the queue.

The Peoples Democratic Party candidate in the election said he was delayed because the card reader was slow.

He said, “I expected that INEC would have prepared better for this election. I waited for one and a half hours in the queue before exercising my franchise, it’s a bit disappointing.

“Giving that this is a sole day election, I expected better planning for this election. Card readers were very slow and that’s the situation everywhere.”

Earlier, the Special Adviser to Edo State Governor, Crusoe Osagie, alleged that there was manipulation in areas where Obaseki is popular.

He said, “Suddenly card readers are not working in areas where Governor Godwin Obaseki is very popular.

“Voters are being disenfranchised and we are constrained to say that this is sabotage.

“Specifically, in Oredo Ward 1, Unit 20 and other places where the Governor is clearly popular, the card readers are not working.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should prove to Edo voters that it can conduct a credible election in Edo State.”

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