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Nigeria, S’Africa should retaliate, says Moghalu on travel restrictions

Nigeria, S’Africa should retaliate, says Moghalu on travel restrictions
December 06
14:27 2021

Kingsley Moghalu, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says Nigeria and South Africa should respond in kind to the travel restrictions by the UK and other western nations.

Following the discovery of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, Canada, Indonesia, the US and a number of countries in Europe, including the UK, banned travellers from African countries.

On Saturday, the UK announced that it would add Nigeria to the list of countries on its red list — which means only UK residents or citizens of the country can visit from Nigeria.

Reacting to the development on Monday, Moghalu said it is “unconscionable” to restrict travel from Africa over a COVID variant that did not originate from the continent.

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“Nigeria and other African countries such as South Africa should issue reciprocal restrictions or bans on any western countries that restrict or ban travel by Africans because of the Omicron variant of #COVID19,” he wrote on social media.

“It’s unconscionable to subject Africans to restrictions because of a variant that did not originate from the continent when western countries with similar or more cases are not subject to similar restrictions.

“This is more than public health. It’s about worldviews in international relations. Our dignity matters. Our leaders should protect it instead of as is the case with Nigeria today, travelling around the world with a begging bowl for foreign assistance.”

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Sarafa Ishola, Nigeria’s high commissioner to the UK, has described the travel restrictions imposed on the country as “apartheid”.

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