The federal government on Monday, August 17, 2020, announced that international flights will resume in Nigeria from August 29, 2020. This information was revealed by the Nigerian Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who released the new dates for commencement of flights in the country at the bi-weekly briefing of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19. Mr Sirika noted that the re-opening of flights will commence in batches, starting with Lagos and Abuja.
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It will be recalled that President Buhari on March 23, 2020, suspended all international flights in the country in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country. Though local flights were also banned in the country, they have since resumed for not less than a month now (since July) as Nigeria continues in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic which halted economic activities throughout the globe.
Nigeria, the most populous black nation on earth, has recorded over 49,000 coronavirus cases with less than a thousand deaths as it stands presently. Despite the announcement that international flights will resume on August 29, and the insistence that Nigerian airports are at an advanced stage of preparedness for operation, the Aviation Ministry is yet to disclose details regarding safety protocols for travellers, stating that flight procedures amidst the pandemic will be revealed in due time.
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Closing Nigerian airports to international flights on March 23, meant that flight arrangements were only made for evacuation flights for Nigerian citizens stranded abroad during the pandemic. With this development, it is expected that international businessmen and women in the country alongside students studying abroad and others are now free to travel out and commence their dealings outside the country.
Nigeria is not the first African country to re-open international flights as countries like Senegal and Tanzania already did, while Ghana has announced that international flights will commence on September 1, 2020.
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