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FG reacts to alleged non-screening of Americans at Lagos airport

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Nigeria says it will allow approved international flights into the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja adding that the approved flights will be required to submit manifest of passengers to port health officials prior to arrival in the country.The Federal Government has described as absolute falsehood reports that 26 Americans arrived at the Murtala Muhammed Inter­national Airport (MMIA), Lagos, on Monday without screening for Coronavirus.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while reacting to the claim,  admonished the media to be circumspect of what they publish and desist from dishing out fake news aimed at frustrating efforts of government and those in the frontline of fighting COVID-19 pandemic.

He said contrary to the report, the Americans were screened by the Port Health Authority and the Immigration while the crews did not disembark from the aircraft.

Mohammed said: “I am aware of the history of the 26 passengers and I have placed a call to the head of Port Health Services who denied the report.

“We have problem with the crude oil production in the Bonga field, so they made an application for the expatriates to come into the country
“They need to come and carry out some emergency works on the Bonga field and they arrived yesterday.
“They met with the Port Health Authority and immigration that screened them and we have the records to show that they were screened.”
The minister explained that the rule on border closure is that if any aircraft must come to the country on emergency, it must come in with two crews for inbound and outbund flights.

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“Any flight approved to come into the country now must come with two crews so that there will be no way any of the crew members will get down and interract.
“But if they must come down, they must go into 14 days quarantine,
 “It is wrong for the media to be publishing fake news that will frustrate the efforts of not just government but the Frontline people in this fight which are the health workers, the immigration and others.
“They are the ones that are at the highest risk of infection. When they make those sacrifices, to save the country it is wrong for a newspaper to report with a banner headline that they did not do their jobs when in actual fact, they did.
“Another implication of this which the newspaper did not know is that they have presentef to the entire world as if Nigeria is not taking this fight seriously,” he added.

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