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Lagos, Abuja airports shutdown begins today as COVID-19 cases jump

In view of weekend’s geometric rise in Nigeria’s cases of the ravaging COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the Federal Government will today, Monday March 23, 20202, shut down aviation operations at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos; and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

Recall that government last Week announced shutdown of all other international airports leaving activities at Lagos and Abuja, but confirmed cases of the pandemic from previous 12 to 31 on Sunday March 22, 2020 may have forced the authorities to impose total international air lockdown in Nigeria.

A terse statement signed by the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu, explained that the closure of international flight operations at the Lagos and Abuja airports are in addition to the three other international airports in Kano, Enugu and Port Harcourt shut for flight operations on Saturday.

NCAA made it clear that international closure would last for one full month to ease on April 23 if there are clear indications of improvements.

However, government assured that only emergency and essential flights could be operated from any of the airports within the period even as domestic flight operations would continue normally in all airports in the country.

The statement said in parts: “Further to our earlier letter on the restriction of international flights into Nigeria, we wish to inform you that effective Monday, 23rd March at 2300Z to 23rd April at 2300Z, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos (DNMM) and Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja (DNAA) will be closed to all international flights.

Sirika best
Minister of Aviation, Sen Hadi Sirika

“This is in addition to the closure of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano (DNKN); Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu (DNEN); and Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa (DNPO) effective Saturday, 21 March at 2300Z.

“Henceforth, all airports in Nigeria are closed to all incoming international flights with the exception of emergency and essential flights.

“Domestic flights will continue normal operations at all airports,” NCAA averred.