A new international travel guideline has been issued by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, removing mandatory Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing for fully vaccinated visitors and stiff penalties for unvaccinated travellers violating the new rules.
According to the ‘Provisional Travel Protocol for Travellers Arriving Nigeria’, issued, yesterday morning by the Chairman of the PSC and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, the new guideline, which takes effect from today, also prescribes sanctions for airlines that bring violators of the new rules.
Mustapha said that the new guideline prescribed for the fully vaccinated would apply to travellers between ages 10 and 18 years.
He said that unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated international travellers would still be required to take the PCR test 48 hours before boarding a flight to Nigeria.
“This protocol is a revision of the Travel Protocol released on November 29, 2021, Interim Travel Guidelines for Passengers arriving in Nigeria.
“In-bound passengers to Nigeria, who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, are no longer required to carry out COVID-19 PCR test before boarding Nigeria-bound flights.
“Fully vaccinated passengers arriving Nigeria will not also be required to carry out post arrival PCR test or a Rapid Antigen Test upon arrival in Nigeria.
“Children below the age of 18 years will be accorded the same privileges as persons who are fully vaccinated.
“In-bound passengers who are unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated for COVID-19 shall take a COVID-19 PCR test 48 hours before departure and undergo Days 2 and 7 post-arrival PCR tests at their own cost.
“All in-bound passengers MUST register via the online Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP– https://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng),” it said.
Meanwhile, for outbound travellers, the guideline prescribes that “all passengers travelling out of Nigeria are: Encouraged to have evidence of full vaccination against COVID-19; and comply with the COVID-19 guidelines of their destination or transit countries.
“Familiarise themselves with the COVID-19 travel requirements of their destination and transit countries before embarking on the journey,” it said.
Addressing the issue of airlines boarding violators of the guideline, it said, among other sanctions, such airlines would be fined $3,500 for each violator and could be banned from flying into Nigeria.
“Airlines that board travellers without the appropriate required documents; vaccine certificate, a negative COVID-19 PCR test done not more than 48 hours prior to boarding, and a Paid Permit to Travel/QR code (as may be applicable to the passenger, shall be sanctioned as follows: Travellers, who are non-Nigerians, will be refused entry into Nigeria and returned to the point of embarkation at the cost to the airline.
“Travellers who are Nigerians or holders of a permanent residence permit will be allowed entry but subjected to the procedure outlined in Section D of the guideline.
“In addition, travellers arriving with forged (fake) vaccine certificates or COVID-19 PCR results shall be prosecuted and required to carry out PCR tests on arrival, on days 2 and 7.
“Airlines shall be fined $3,500 per traveller for failure to comply with any of the pre-boarding requirements.
“Airlines who consistently fail to comply with the requirements may be banned from coming to Nigeria; and at the time of boarding, travellers will be required to undergo temperature screening and asked about COVID-19 symptoms.
“Travellers with temperature 38°C and other COVID-19-related signs and symptoms shall not be allowed to board the flight,” the document read.
We Need President Who Believes In Unity Of Nigeria -Wike
Rivers State Governor and presidential aspirant under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Nyesom Wike, has urged Nigerians to take the opportunity that the 2023 general election would offer them to elect a Nigerian who believes in the unity of the country and its people.
Speaking to leaders and delegates of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Birnin Kebbi, capital of Kebbi State, yesterday, Wike emphasised that Nigeria was more divided now under the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government than ever.
Wike pointed to the need why the country requires a president that would be in charge of things, including issues of security and the economy.
He described as sad that Nigerian farmers cannot go to farm conveniently or go about their trading activities because of insecurity.
“We need a Nigerian who believes in the unity of this country. We have never been divided the way we are divided now. If God gives us (PDP) the opportunity, we will form a government of national unity where everybody will be involved.”
Wike told the delegates that he was the best PDP aspirant that has the capacity to secure electoral victory for the party and implement policies that will truly rescue Nigeria.
According to him, PDP and indeed, Nigerians need somebody who can face the APC squarely in the 2023 general election and give the country a new direction in which safety of life is guaranteed.
“There is a war you go and you know the kind of soldiers you send and the general that will be the commander. In this kind of fight now, it is me that can fight it.
“What PDP is looking for is who can make us win the election. If we don’t win this election, PDP is gone. I’m tired of this opposition. I am the only aspirant who has what it takes to win this election for PDP.
“And when we win the presidential election in February, 2023, we will win Kebbi in March. And I am going to give you all the support that you require.”
The Rivers State governor reminded the delegates that first of all, there has to be a party before anybody can run election, and most of those seeking to fly the party’s presidential flag had in the past abandoned it to die, but people like him stayed back to build the party and make it once again formidable.
“I was one of the people who stood firm, who made sure that this party didn’t die. There are those who fought this party in 2015 to make us lose the election. If we didn’t lose the election, will we not be in opposition now?
“We have worked hard and a labourer deserves his wages as it is in the holy book. I have worked for this party. So, nobody will say that I did not work for this party.”
In his remarks, Kebbi State PDP chieftain and Chairman of Forum of former PDP Ministers, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, SAN, noted the enormous burden of insecurity on Nigeria that requires a courageous leader to handle.
“Today in Nigeria, we have problem of insecurity. We have problem with the economy. We have poverty. We have hunger. We have restlessness. We have joblessness. There is problem of lack of justice. There is a problem of lack of fairness.
“In short, there is leadership failure and so when we talk of 2023, we should be talking of the survival of Nigeria as one united and indissoluble nation.
“We need a leader that has capacity to take very decisive decisions. Wike has that capacity. We need a leader that is capable of building the diverse and strong bridges of friendship across the divide, Wike has that capacity.
“We need a leader that is consummate and cosmopolitan, Wike is the person. We need a leader that is educated. Wike is educated.”
ASUU Strike: Protests Rock South West, Edo
Students of different universities in Ondo State on Monday staged a protest to register their displeasure over the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The protesting students blocked the Ilesha-Akure Expressway in Akure, chanting different solidarity songs.
They wielded placards with different inscriptions such as ‘ End ASUU strike,’ ‘Save our future,’ and FG, we’ve had enough,’ among others.
The protesters included students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko; Olusegun Agagu University of Technology, Okitipupa; and the Federal University of Technology, Akure.
The protest caused traffic gridlock on the highway with many travellers and motorists stranded while some motorists had to take alternative routes to their destinations.
Speaking on the protest, the Vice Chairman, National Association of University Students, Ondo Chapter, Shittu Afolarin, stated that the move became imperative after it was discovered that the Federal Government was not concerned about the plight of students.
Meanwhile, in Osun State, protest by some students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, organised by Great Ife Concerned Students in collaboration with Fund Education Coalition against strike, resumed on Monday as the protesters blocked some major roads in the state.
The protesters had initially blocked Ife-Ede Road, and later moved to Ipetumodu and blocked Ife-Ibadan, Ilesa-Akure roads in front of Oduduwa University, thereby preventing vehicular movement.
The leader of the protesters, Omowumi Abraham, popularly known as Ewatee, said a vehicle conveying two soldiers heading towards Gbongan-Ibadan end from Ipetumodu, had forced its way through their barricade.
She said two other vehicles also conveying soldiers heading towards same direction were however prevented from going through and were forced to make a detour.
Students in Ogun State also on Monday blocked the Sagamu-Benin Expressway in protest against the ongoing strike.
The joint protest had in attendance students from OOU, Ago-Iwoye; Tai Solarin University of Education, Science and Technology, Ijagun and Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
The students reportedly stormed the TASUED axis and blocked the expressway, leaving many motorists stranded and travellers trapped.
Speaking at the protest ground, the Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students in the state, Damilola Simeon, appealed to the Federal Government to respond urgently to the yearnings of ASUU.
The President, Student Union Government of TASUED, Don Ayomide, also said the protest was necessary to let the Federal Government and ASUU be aware of the plight of Nigerian students.
Reacting to the students’ protest, ASUU Chairman, FUNAAB, , Dr Gbenga Adeleye, told newsmen that the students had a right to quality education, saying that they were not happy with the ongoing strike.
WASSCE 2022: WAEC Advises Principals, Supervisors To Shun Exam Malpractice
The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) have advised principals and supervisors to shun any act capable of undermining the integrity of the ongoing May/June 2022 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Specifically, the principals and supervisors, who are in charge of the conduct of WASSCE 2022, were warned to eschew any form of examination malpractice.
The advise was given by the Deputy Registrar/Zonal Coordinator of WAEC, Abuja, Mr. Ambrose Okelezo, during the briefing of principals and supervisors on the conduct of WASSCE for school candidates.
The principals of recognized secondary schools and nominated senior teachers, who would serve as supervisors were briefed in the Federal Capital Territory FCT) in two locations ahead of the school exam at Gwagwalada and Maitama.
Okelezo informed the principals of their expected roles and warned them to eschew any form of examination malpractice.
He also advised them to educate their students on the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the school exam and teachers (invigilators) not to bring in GSM phones into the exam hall and to stay within the rules guiding invigilation of the examination.
Okelezo also pleaded with the principals and supervisors to be always available in their schools and provide sanitisers, nose masks and ensure strict compliance with all COVID- 19 protocols.
The WAEC zonal coordinator urged them to use the CIVAPEMS devices for the capturing of attendance of candidates.
He briefed the supervisors on their roles, which is the conduct of examination on behalf of the council, following certain guidelines as stipulated by WAEC.
The principals and supervisors were trained on the usage of CIVAPEMS, a device used in the verification of candidates Identities, capturing of attendance.
The deputy registrar also advised the supervisors to shun any act capable of undermining the integrity of the examination.
Various speakers at the workshop such the Director, Education Resource Centre (ERC) in the FCT, Hajia Neemart Abdulraham, ANCOPSS Chairman in the FCT, Adam Bello Gupa, thanked WAEC for organising the workshop and they took turns to admonish participants on the need to follow the rules and regulations as rolled out by WAEC and conduct a malpractice-free examination in the FCT.
A total of 777 participants, made up of 377 principals and 407 supervisors participated in the workshop.
The workshop was concluded with the information on some innovations rolled out by the council such WAEC Chatbox, the platform for gaining access to WAEC services online real-time through www.request.waec.org.
WAEC verify- which provides online access to tertiary institutions and other establishments to WAEC database for the verification of prospective students/applicants results.
Others include EDUSTAT- which enables interested stakeholders to access WAEC statistics online, Computer-Based Test Series- which offers a reliable and robust CBT and Aptitude Test Services.
The participants resolved to work together to ensure a successful conduct of the school exam in FCT.
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