The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 has revealed that workers at the Nigerian airports are taking bribes from travellers to evade mandatory quarantine at the airports.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee decried the extortion by the airport workers at a meeting on Monday.

The chairman of the committee, Boss Mustapha said, “The PSC has noted with dismay, fraudulent activities at airports by employees who extort money from quarantine evaders,” said the chairman of the committee. The authorities are conducting a necessary investigation into various reports received.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria’s spokeswoman, Henrietta Yakubu, said the airport authorities needed time to find out the truth about the allegation.

“Honestly, our security is investigating so I cannot preempt them. Let them find out first. We need to find out if there is any truth to that statement, so you have to give us time, but I cannot preempt them. You can call again,” Yakubu said.

Mustapha, who is also Secretary to the Government of the Federation, explained that the PSC had taken note of challenges raised by travellers who visit the ‘National International Travel Portal’ in compliance with travel protocols.

He said, “Notable progress is still being made in the area of vaccines. More than 3.5million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are being expected from the USA this September, while about four million doses of Astrazeneca is being expected early next month.

“Nigeria will be receiving more than one million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine shipment on a monthly basis. The PSC is committed to access enough vaccines for the 70 per cent eligible persons in the country in record time.”

While warning against complacency, he explained that “global cases have been on a decline for some time now, but there’s need for more caution,” especially among Nigerians.

“The PSC has observed that caution is needed rather than over-confidence. To slide into complacency can be very fatal, hence the need for serious caution and adherence to non-pharmaceutical intervention measures,” he stressed.

On UK’s advisory on COVID-19 vaccines and changes to international travel rules, Mustapha stated, “The British high commissioner in Nigeria has stated that the UK government supports the vaccination programme irrespective of where the vaccines were manufactured.”

He further noted that “Britain will open up international travels using a standardised COVID-19 vaccination certification process” to allow for ease of travel from other countries, including Nigeria.

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