From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Comptroller General (CG) of the Nigeria Immigration, Muhammed Babandede, has said the future of global travels will be PRC tests or vaccines certificate.
This is even as he said some of owners of the 100 passports banned for failing to undergo the compulsory COVID-19 test after returning into the country, having started calling to do the right thing in order to travel.
He spoke at the media briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, on Tuesdays.
The details were also published on the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19’s official website on Saturday night.
“The PTF has placed travel restrictions on the first 100 passengers for non-compliance to the mandatory Day 7 post-arrival COVID-19 test,” the PTF had said.
Babandede said: “It is clear to everybody that the future of travels is health. The next visa for global travel is health especially the COVID certificate. I can assure you that you may not be able to cross Nigerian borders without the Vaccine certificate or your COVID test result.
“Also it is our duty to implement the directive of Mr. President, the powers is enshrined in the Immigration Act, the Constitution and from the regulation of COVID-19.
“The powers are there to restrict the person that has refused to comply with any regulation. Because lack of compliance to COVID-19 regulations is a threat to public health. The public health is a big issue in the country and so based on that directives, we have complied by blocking 100 passports from traveling. Which means, even if they go to police and declare those passports missing, they cannot be reissued anywhere in the world and they cannot cross our national borders until the period of six months or communication received from the right authorities stating that they have compiled. This will also include non-Nigerians, we have the powers to revoke visas, even the comptroller general has the power to revoke visas.
“So based on the powers given and additional condition for entering Nigeria today, you must have COVID test result, we will make you comply. You must have evidence of payment. If you do the test it means you have complied, if you have not done the test it means you have violated the condition of entering the country, your visa will be revoked.
“So I want to assure Nigerians that we are implementing the directives. I have started receiving calls from those whose passports numbers were published, I told them no problem, I didn’t put your number there but you violated the protocol. So go back to the health sector and make sure you comply.
“You see, Nigerians are wonderful, they refused to do the test after over a month of returning to the country but now they are calling to say they want to travel, their children are returning to school. Please comply, Immigration has no business with anybody, we are implementing the directives handed down to us.”