Passengers flying into the Federal State of Nigeria have bitterly complained about the series of obstacles they have had to face while undertaking the government enforced coronavirus tests on arrival at the nation’s airports from other countries.
Some passengers have alleged cases of duplicated charges for the COVID-19 tests, asserting that designated labs for testing cannot be found. And when even found, the designated labs are beyond their reach despite being told by the Nigerian Government that the designated labs were available nationwide.
Other passengers have also lamented about being forced to run multiple tests at the threat of being barred from leaving the country for failure to take the tests.
To Nigerians and foreigners entering the country, the entire process appears to be an elaborate scam designed to extort and frustrate Nigerians and other travelers who are eager to reconnect with their families living in Nigeria.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) last month, announced rules governing COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing before entering the country.
“It is mandatory for intending travellers to carry out a COVID-19 PCR test at least 96 hours before travelling to Nigeria,” the NCDC said.
The NCDC also said that the NCAA had notified airlines that passengers to Nigeria who couldn’t pay for the test online could still board flights, as long as they had COVID-19 PCR negative test results.
A video in the possession of one of Nigeria’s media outlets, shows a visibly irritated journalist protesting at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, after allegedly being forced to pay 48,000 naira and handed a piece of paper to go for a Covid-19 test at a clinic found only in Abuja.
“I arrived in Nigeria and there was a long queue of people waiting to pay money for COVID-19 tests. Is the one I did in London not enough? Are Nigerian hospitals better than London hospitals? I had to pay N48,000 and I was given a piece of paper and told to go to a Ahab Clinic. I was told the clinic has branches across the country, but they only have a branch in Abuja,” the journalist noted.
A Syrian national, filling forms alongside the protesting Nigerian, said that he had passed through 3 different airports before arriving in Abuja, but only at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport was he told to stand in long queues and fill forms.
A Swedish national who visited the designated lab to undertake the test, decried poor delivery services at the clinic and the multiple orders to pay the sum of N42,750 or else be barred from leaving the country back to Sweden.
The Swedish national also asserts that, prior to finding the clinic, the address of the lab could not be found on Google Maps and had to resort to asking for directions to the clinic.