The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced the closure of all the country’s airports to international flights till April 23, 2020.
The Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu disclosed this in a letter to all foreign airlines and operators on Saturday. He said domestic flights will continue normal operations at all airports.
The NCAA had shut down the international wing of three airports in Nigeria on Friday. This is in line with the directive of the Federal Government to restrict international flights in response to the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
The three airports closed down were; Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu; and the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa. This leaves only the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja in operation.
However, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, late yesterday, said Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos would be closed too. Sirika, while fielding questions from State House Correspondents on Friday, said the five international airports should have been closed instead of singling out three. Since then, 10 more cases of the coronavirus disease have been confirmed in the country, bringing the country’s burden of coronavirus infections to a total of 22.
Three of the 10 new cases are in Abuja, the country’s capital. The other seven are in Lagos. Nine of the new 10 infections had “have travel history outside Nigeria in the last one week,” the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said in a tweet.