Senator Smart Adeyemi, chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, has said that the National Assembly and the Ministry of Aviation were considering banning flights from the United Kingdom, United States of America and other countries with high rates of COVID-19.
Adeyemi, who stated this in an interview with The Punch in Abuja, said a decision on the issue would be announced next week.
Hesaid the National Assembly and the Federal Government were concerned about the second wave of COVID-19.
He stated that the joint National Assembly Committees on Aviation, the Aviation Ministry and agencies in the sector had been holding regular meetings in the past few days on the matter.
He said: “We are still trying to study the situation so as to know the appropriate steps to take. It is a very sad situation no doubt.
“The National Assembly and the Aviation Ministry are looking at what really should be done on the call to ban some of the flights coming in, not only from the United Kingdom, but also other countries where the pandemic spreads are more severe.
“The National Assembly Joint Committee on Aviation is discussing with the Ministry of Aviation and we are looking at what can be done and the right steps to be taken.
“COVID-19 is of great concern to everyone and it has been proven that it is real. Nigeria as a country has been able to contain the situation because our people are very conscious of the protocols.
“The fact that we are experiencing the second wave is a concern. So, the ministry and the National Assembly are considering an outright ban of flights from the pandemic prone countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, the Asian countries, Sweden, among others.
“We have been studying the situation. We would arrive at a conclusion in the next few days. We are looking at the figures, the rate of infection, the manner of infection and government response.
“We are studying the implications of the outright ban of flights and whether it would be of any importance to the containment of the virus.
“We have protocols for visitors arriving in Nigeria which we make sure are being strictly observed. Notwithstanding, in the next few days, we would know what to do.
“The Senate and the House of Representatives committees on Aviation, the Ministry of Aviation, and all the agencies under the ministry have been engaging in regular meetings over the situation.
“By next week, we would come up with a definite conclusion on whether there would be an outright ban of flights from the affected countries or the next steps to take.”