The Federal Government through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority could impose a total penalty of $94,500 on international airlines for breaching COVID-19 safety protocols as established by the Presidential Task Force.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said on Thursday at the PTF briefing in Abuja that the culpable airlines flew in 27 passengers into Nigeria with no negative PCR test result on COVID-19.
In August, the PTF said airlines that failed to comply with the laid down international flight safety protocols against the spread of COVID-19 would be slammed a $3,500 fine per passenger.
This implies that for the 27 passengers that were flown into Nigeria by the airlines, the carriers would pay a total of penalty of $94,500 to the government through the NCAA.
Sirika said some of the 27 passengers arrived the country with rapid test results, which were not accepted, while others came with expired PCR results and the remaining had no results at all.
The minister said, “We had sadly some 27 cases in Abuja of passengers that did not comply with our guidelines on PCR negative result test.
“Some of them came with rapid result test which is not accepted, some came with expired PCR result test and others came with no PCR test at all.
“The protocol and procedure is that the airlines that have brought in these passengers will, of course, answer and will be dealt with according to the law.”
Sirika added, “For those violations, the NCAA will deal with them accordingly.”
The aviation minister further stated that all inbound flights were only allowed to have maximum of 200 passengers, while they could carry as much as they wanted outbound.
Sirika also stated that Emirates Airline was now allowed to fly into Nigeria beginning Friday.
This came as the the PTF said 60,000 environmental health workers had been mobilised to ensure safe reopening of schools across the country.