Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja.
The National Coordinator of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, has assured that any passenger made to pay more than once for COVID-19 testing will be refunded, adding that customer service teams have been stationed at the airports.
He said children below 10 years did not need to do test and “if they have been subjected to payment, then they will be refunded.”
He gave the assurance this during a townhall webinar meeting at the weekend organised by Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM).
The webinar was coordinated by NIDCOM Chairman/CEO, Abike Dabiri-Erewa for Nigerians coming into the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, the Task Force came up with what people considered as stringent procedures because it was imperative to limit the importation of COVID-19 to Nigeria, prevent transmission during the flight and reduce the quarantine period.
Aliyu told Nigerians in Diaspora who participated at the Webinar that Public Laboratories are not allowed to conduct free testing as the Federal government cannot afford it and it is not sustainable.
“It is not something that government can afford. We will run out of test kits.”
The PTF national coordinator explained that the Federal Government did not receive any money paid to private laboratories as it would have loved to subsidize, but it is not sustainable by the government.
While commending NIDCOM for living up to expectations in coordinating Diaspora concerns on the protocols put in place, he said: “We appreciate the difficulties that people are going through. It will be sorted.”