By Asmau Ahmad
An aviation expert, Otunba Segun Adewale, has called for urgent review of COVID-19 guidelines to revive the economy and encourage travellers into the country.
Speaking with newsmen at the weekend in Lagos, the aviation expert said that the current polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test guidelines needed to be reviewed as a matter of urgency.
Specifically, he decried the multiple compulsory PCR tests and charges imposed on travellers into Nigeria.
Adewale, Chief Executive Officer, Aeroland Travels Limited, said that such tests were enough to discourage tourism and other connected industries in the country.
He said that Nigeria should emulate many worst-hit countries who were relaxing rules and payable charges on PCR to boost their economy badly affected by the outbreak of the pandemic.
“Before, Nigerians cannot enter Europe except they do PCR test, but now they are relaxing the rules. In fact, they are not even asking travellers to do test any more to enter their countries once they are vaccinated.
“Despite the fact that we are not seriously impacted in Nigeria here, we copied all the rules from America and Europe regarding coronavirus. So, now that these countries are relaxing guidelines and rules, we should do same.
“This has become imperative because businesses are moribund. People’s livelihoods have been destroyed and these countries are now bringing back their businesses, reviving the travels, aviation, tourism, hotels and hospitality industries.
“So, if we can copy the West and America as regards COVID-19 guidelines and policies, why are we not copying them with financial implications as related to COVID-19 PCR test,” he said.
According to him, in England, United Arab Emirates and most countries in Europe, if anyone is vaccinated, the PCR test was not needed again to come into those countries.
According to him, the COVID-19 tests on arrival in some of these countries are free, which has increased the number of people coming into those countries thereby improving their economy.
He noted that with the current rules, a family of five would need N1 million to do test to come into Nigeria.
According to him, a traveler will have to do a PCR test on departure, do a PCR test on arrival and pay another 200 dollars for another post arrival `Day 2 COVID-19 PCR test’.
“So, NCDC needs to review the PCR guidelines to encourage travelers and thereby revive moribund industries because businesses are dying.
“We need to work on motivating people to come into country. Those guidelines need to change, we have to be proactive.
“When we have a lot of people coming into the country, airlines business and local flights will be revived, hotels will be full, travel agencies will have business to do,” he said.