Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF), Dr Sani Aliyu, disclosed that going forward passengers without QR (Quick Response) Code, whether permanent or temporary, will no longer be allowed to board flights.
He made the disclosure on Monday while responding to a question at the PTF media briefing in Abuja.
He said this was to address the issue of congestion on arrival and avoid spread of the virus, noting that with a volume of over 4,000 daily passengers arriving Lagos and Abuja, there was no way the use of paper can continue.
‘The portal has three sections, the first has to do with filling the questionnaire and is straightforward, it then takes you to where you will upload your COVID-19 PCR result that should be negative at the point of boarding. At this stage you have two options, either to go ahead and pay or download your QR Code. If you chose to down your temporary QR Code, you can print it and board with it and then come into Nigeria and subsequently pay,’ Aliyu explained.
‘But our strong recommendation is that if you do not want to spend too much time at the airport, go ahead and pay and print out the final QR Code. If you have the final QR Code it takes minutes to clear at the airport. It’s very quick and we have everything online.
‘We have your questionnaire online, your PCR result online and if there is a problem on day seven, you are tested and your COVID result is positive, we can easily go back and check whether the result you have on our system is genuine PCR result or not. Also we will check you questionnaire to see if you admitted that you had some symptoms prior to boarding.
‘It is either you incubated the illness or you picked up the virus on your way in or it’s possible that you did the wrong test.
‘In the coming week, we will be notifying airlines, passengers that do not have a QR Code whether temporary or permanent QR Code, will not be allowed to board the air planes. We are going to stop the use of paper in the airport, because this is one of the reasons causing congestion and Nigeria is not different to other countries. If you are going to other countries, you upload your health questionnaire online and you do whatever you need to do online and submit. We should be no different, we should be joining the 21st century.
‘We are increasingly confident that the portal is working well, you do not need to pay in order to generate a QR Code but the earlier passengers get use to the portal the better. Because, it will make it easier to manage passengers especially now that we are opening and increasing the number of passengers we are allowing into the country. We have already increased that of Lagos to 2,500 a day while that of Abuja is 1,600 a day. Just over 4,000 passengers everyday. So we cannot handle paper with this sort of level of passengers coming in.
‘So, no more papers at the airport very soon and people will have to use the portal.’