The Federal Government has said it does not intend to stop Nigerians from travelling to China or any other nation that is currently battling the coronavirus.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, revealed this as he spoke to newsmen briefly after a meeting of the inter-ministerial and multi-sectoral committee on coronavirus held at the Ministry of Health, Abuja.
According to him, instead of imposing a travel ban, a travel advisory would be available to help Nigerians who want to visit China to do so without any health risks.
According to him, it is tough to ban people from traveling and Nigeria is not a country that stigmatizes other nations that are going through trying times.
His words, “We know it is a bit difficult to ban people from travelling.
“Another thing is that this is not a basis to stigmatise people who come from there.
“Even if we have Nigerians who are there, unless they indicate interest that they want to come home, we can’t force them.
“I know we have Nigerians in Wuhan; our Embassy in China has confirmed that we have about 16 Nigerians in Wuhan and they are in touch with them.
“They have, however, not indicated their interest to come home. They will, however, contact our embassy if they like to come home.”
We need a lot of public enlightenment. We need to let people who travel know that there is the need for absolute transparency and absolute honesty when they are filling out forms.
“Some people don’t take the forms seriously and they do mislead authorities when they are asked to declare their status.
“One of the major advantages of the declaration of global emergency for coronavirus by WHO is that they understand that combating it can be really expensive and there are states that cannot afford it.
“But there are partners that can help such countries. But right now, we are in the stage of working together inter-ministerially to make sure we address the epidemic.”