Africa: Nigeria may shutdown two remaining international airports- Aviation Minister

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Few hours after the Nigeria closed some of its international airports in order to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Sen Hadi Sirika has said the country may close its two remaining airports.

The country had earlier announced that only the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja (DNAA) and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos (DNMM) will remain open to and accept international flights.

This means that all international airports in the country, including the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos (MMIA) and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja (NAIA) will be completely shut in order to militate against further spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

Sirika had disclosed this while briefing state house correspondents at the Aso Rock, after Friday prayers.

Responding to reporters on whether the airports will be closed completely, the minister responded: “Yes, we are going to shut all international airports” He however added that “domestic operations will not be disrupted”.

In the effort to completely stop the spread of the virus in the country, the minister was quoted saying: “when you want to catch a fish, empty the water.”

He was asked when the total shut down will occur and he responded, “You know there is a Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha in place, information will come from there at the appropriate time. But the shutdown will be in a few days, just to allow the necessary ‘Notice To Airmen (NOTAM)’ to be issued accordingly.”

The country has already ban flights from 15 countries, which were classified as high-risk states as far as the COVID-19 cases are concern.

The government earlier issued a NOTAM to airlines informing themthat only 2 Airports will receive all international Flights to Nigeria. While the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport and Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu International Airport and Port Harcourt International Airport will be closed to international flights.

Meanwhile, the Lagos terminal was filled with passengers trying to catch the last flight out of Lagos before the restrictions are enforced

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