The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 has deactivated the passports of 200 travellers who presented “fake Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests and vaccination cards.”
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who disclosed this in a chat with newsmen in Lagos, said the defaulters would be subjected to fines or community service.
The commissioner said those who failed to present themselves before the state’s mobile courts would have their passports deactivated for one year.
It would be recalled that the federal government had imposed travel restrictions on passengers who shunned the COVID-19 PCR test with effect from September last year.
The government mandates passengers arriving in Nigeria to go through the routine port health screening and present electronic or print-out evidence of pre-boarding COVID-19 PCR test and the Permit to Travel Certificate/QR Code.
Abayomi said, “We have submitted the first 200 names of individuals who have failed to present themselves at the mobile courts to the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) and their passports have been deactivated for a period of one year.
“These will be published in the dailies in the coming week and the next set of names will follow in the coming month.
“We encourage all those who have received a text message to present themselves at the mobile court to avoid these sanctions.”
Abayomi advised other passengers who had received invitations to appear before the mobile court to honour them to avoid their passports being confiscated.
“Whilst we understand that it may not have been the fault of passengers but facilitated by unscrupulous individuals assisting them, we have taken a decision not to submit their passports for deactivation by the Presidential Steering Committee, in the first instance, but give them an opportunity to present themselves at our mobile court to defend themselves and help identify where they are obtaining the fake documents, if applicable,” he added.