The Nigerian government has announced that visitors will no longer be required to take the COVID-19 test before entering the country.
Hadi Abubakar Sirika, the country’s Minister of Aviation, announced this on Monday via Twitter, adding that the use of facemasks would now be optional.
He said, “Glad to announce that Government has abolished Permission to travel QR code. Use of face mask is now discretionary and travel PCR tests are suspended. Aviation will boom once again.”
Glad to announce that Government has abolished Permission to travel QR code. Use of face mask is now discretionary and travel PCR tests are suspended. Aviation will boom once again🕺🏽💪🏽🇳🇬
— Hadi Abubakar Sirika (@hadisirika) December 12, 2022
Meanwhile, SaharaReporters reported in 2020 that Nigeria had a low number of tests compared to other African countries, which had a high infection rate.
While the Nigerian government has given several reasons for the low test results, the cost of the COVID-19 test could also be considered.
In the heat of the outbreak in Africa, all countries ensured tests were being done freely with no charges provided one had been exposed to infected persons or had symptoms of the virus.
This was largely due to aid received from international bodies and foreign countries.
However, when the infection rate began to subside and lockdown measures relaxed, countries began charging individuals who needed to take the test.
In Nigeria, individuals who desired a COVID-19 test or free certificate must pay the sum of N50,954 to be tested.
This payment also applied to nationals returning to the country as they are compelled to take a COVID-19 test before they board a flight home.
While the tests are being done for free in some African countries, others require citizens to pay for the test.
In Nigeria and some other countries, the test is being done free in government-owned centres for people at risk while nationals, who need the test for private use pay for the test.