MINISTER OF STATE FOR HEALTH SAYS FG’s TRAVEL RESTRICTION ON UK, OTHERS, IS NOT TIT-FOR-TAT

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The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, has said that the Federal Government’s plan to place the United Kingdom and others on a red list, was done in the best interest of the country and not on a tit-for-tat basis.

While giving further insight on the federal government’s move to place travel restrictions on countries that have placed Nigeria on a red list due to the new Omicron variant of Covid-19, the Minister said the most important thing as a sovereign state is to have the right to determine what is best for Nigeria.

This disclosure was made by Mamora, while appearing as a guest at Channels Television News at 10, on Sunday, December 12, 2021.

Mamora in his statement said, “I don’t want you to look at it from that angle, (the tit-for-tat perception). No, it’s not that,” he stated. “In international diplomacy, I am aware that you have what we call the principle of reciprocity in which case you want to act in a reciprocal manner that another country has acted.

“But most importantly, in all these, is that as a sovereign state we have every right to determine what is best for us in terms of our interest.

“Whichever way we act, it is in consonance with what we take to be in our own best interest. So it is not an issue of tit-for-tat. It’s been done in the best interest of our country.”

On the exit of many Nigerian trained medical practitioners from the country in search of greener pastures abroad, Mamora said that these health workers consider remuneration, conducive environment, available equipment, among other factors before leaving the shores of Nigeria.

He, however, stated that the Federal Government was working closely with relevant bodies to address the issues that force medical doctors and nurses to leave the country and ensure that they stay back home.

Recall that yesterday, the federal government in a reciprocity policy, announced the restriction of airlines coming from the United Kingdom, Canada and Saudi Arabia into Nigeria with effect from Tuesday, December 14, 2021.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who made the disclosure in Lagos, explained that it was to reciprocate restricted flights from Nigeria into those countries over the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron.

Sirika said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would also place the United Kingdom, Canada and Saudi Arabia on a red list over the outbreak and spread of the Omicron variant.l

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