Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, says four airports are ready for inspection and possible re-opening if they meet the required COVID-19 protocols.
Sirika, at the Daily Briefing of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, on Thursday in Abuja, said the airports at Calabar, Sokoto, Katsina and Kebbi were all ready for inspection on Friday, July 17, 2020.
The minister also stated that on July 20 other airports would be accessed as the need arises and also, based on their preparedness.
Speaking on the pressure to open airports, the aviation minister said that the ministry of aviation, as the regulatory body, reserves the right to withdraw or reopen the operations at any airport, depending on the level of required protocols met.
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The airports at Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Maiduguri, Lagos and Abuja had been reopened for flight operations.
He, however, decried the level of violation of the COVID-19 protocols at the airports by some people.
According to him, the ministry is presently investigating about three cases at the Port Harcourt, Kano and Abuja airports and will penalise any one found wanting.
Also, the PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha frowned at the violation of COVID-19 protocols at the airports by some VIPs and warned against such actions.
The chairman said: “You will all recall that the aviation sector reopened for domestic operations on July 8, 2020.
“ Dry runs were carried out and guidelines meant to protect all travellers were issued.
“You also recall that we identified and pleaded even before now, with certain classes of persons, particularly VIPs, to desist from flouting such guidelines.
“Unfortunately, we have received reports about violations by some dignitaries who failed to follow the protocols at our airports.
“We believe leaders must lead by example. In truth, as leaders and followers, we must change our behavior if we must overcome the pandemic.
“This virus does not discriminate against status, age, tribe, creed or color. All we require is diligent compliance and vigilance,’’ Boss warned.