No Possible Assurance on Flight Resumption on June 21 in Nigeria – FG: Sani Aliyu who is the National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, at the briefing of the PTF in Abuja on Thursday, said the civil aviation regulators would determine the resumption of domestic flights based on their preparedness.
The government had in March shut the nation’s airports and airspace to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Aliyu said the PTF was yet to receive any update from the aviation sector on its preparedness to restart flight operations.
What we said to the aviation authorities is you need to let us know from the 21st of June onwards if you’re ready to start opening the skies.
We didn’t say 21st of June skies open. We gave them a window of three weeks to prepare and I believe they’re still preparing.
We did not ask them for updates on how things are going but we expect them to get back to us. We don’t have an update on that yet, but we expect them to come to us by the 21st of June.
If they come back to us by the 21st of June and they say we’re ready onwards, we’ll open the sky for domestic travellers and that is when we’ll address the issue of interstate restrictions and curfew but at the moment, there’s no plan right now to say, 21st of June, here we go. It’s inspirational if anything, Aliyu said.
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Raises alarm over rising COVID-19 cases
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, raised the alarm over the rising cases of the virus in the country.
He asked Nigerians to celebrate Democracy Day in a solemn and reflective manner, warning that “We must ensure that our goal is to stay alive and remain COVID-19 free.”
Earlier yesterday at a public hearing of the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on COVID-19, Aliyu said the PTF was working with the Ministry of Education to work out a school resumption plan to protect students.
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Coronavirus yet to reach its peak
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday warned the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government against laxity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
He gave the warning at a virtual meeting with the president of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean Kassi-Brou, in his capacity as the ECOWAS COVID-19 champion.
According to Buhari, the novel coronavirus infectious disease is yet to reach its peak in the sub-region.
He called on member-states to continually sensitise their citizens on preventive measures.