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FG Says It Can’t Afford Free COVID-19 Tests For International Travellers



Sani Aliyu

The Federal Government has said it cannot afford to conduct free test for travellers coming into the country.

Sani Aliyu, National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, made this known during a virtual town hall meeting on Saturday.

The event was organised by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), for Nigerians coming into the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is not something that the government can afford. We will run out of test kits,” Aliyu said.

“We appreciate the difficulties that people are going through. It will be sorted.”

Recall the government, while lifting the ban on international flight operations, had mandated travellers coming into the country to present their COVID-19 test results.

“If there is no private laboratory in your state of final destination, the laboratory you have chosen for your test during registration will make arrangements to have your sample taken at a designated laboratory,” the PTF national coordinator told travellers who reside outside Lagos and Abuja.

“The PTF and NCDC are urgently working with all states to create a mechanism for private testing. We’ve already approached 6 or 7 states that have private labs in their states.”

Aliyu further stated that testing is not required for children below the age of 10 years and if they have been subjected to payment, they will get a refund.

He added that any passenger made to pay more than once must be refunded, adding that customer service teams have been stationed at the airports.

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