The presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 says it is aware of syndicates at some international airports producing fake COVID-19 test results for Nigerian travellers.
Mukhtar Mohammed, the national incident manager for the PTF, stated this at the COVID-19 briefing, on Monday.
Mohammed noted that the federal government is investigating and working with the relevant authorities in countries where these syndicates operate to stop the practice.
“The PTF is aware of the report of syndicates at some international airports outside Nigeria, who specialise in providing fake results to innocent Nigerians who are travelling back home,” he said.
“We’re investigating the matter and working on relevant authorities, including the countries in which these syndicates operate, to make sure that these guys are nipped in the bud.”
The national incident manager noted that inbound passengers that “flagrantly disobey” COVID-19 protocol would be apprehended and quarantined at their own expenses.
“We intend to apply the full force of the law over such violators, which include fines and imprisonment. Our aim is not to witch-hunt or punish anyone, but just to ensure people travel safely,” he said.
“It is important to note that on arrival here, if you have a fake result, you will be quarantined in any of our facilities, and you will bear the expenses of the facility, feeding and the lab test, and after that, you are also liable to prosecution.
“Still on travel protocol, we received reports of technical challenges experienced by people returning to the country. We have set up a backup manual process and communicated the same to all relevant stakeholders, including the airlines, ministry of health, and other embassies.
“These are technical challenges that are bound to occur from time to time, but we believe that our technical team will be up to speed and resolve these issues as soon as they occur, and that the backup system will also operate as an alternative to the internet platform.”
Meanwhile, the PTF has released the passport numbers of 100 Nigerians who refused to undergo the mandatory COVID-19 test after returning to the country.
Nairalovers had also reported how travellers connive with airport officials to present face coronavirus test results at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Also note that this post does not reflect the views of Nairalovers.