Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, has criticized the United Kingdom’s decision to put Nigeria on its red list because of a new COVID-19 variation known as Omicron.
Mohammed claimed the judgment is unjust, harsh, punitive, unjustifiable, and discriminatory, and that it is not based on science, during a press conference in Abuja on Monday.
He stated that he believes the Presidential Steering Committee would respond to the United Kingdom’s decision.
He said, “As you are aware, Britain has put Nigeria on its red list and banned foreign travels from our country. This is as a result of the discovery of COVID-19 cases – the Omicron variant – in Nigeria. Britain now joins other countries, including Canada, which have taken similar action against Nigeria over Omicron.
“Let me say straight away that it’s up to the Presidential Steering Committee to respond to this action by the British government and others, and I have no doubt that the Committee will respond appropriately.
“However, as the Spokesman for the Federal Government, I can say, without mincing words, that the decision by the British government to put Nigeria on the red list, just because of less than two dozen cases of Omicron which, by the way, did not originate in Nigeria, is unjust, unfair, punitive, indefensible and discriminatory. The decision is also not driven by science.”
Nigeria has been added to the UK’s red list of countries, and harsher entry regulations will take effect on Monday, December 6 as a result of fears of an outbreak of the COVID-19 virus’s Omicron strain.
Sajid Javid, the UK Secretary of State for Health, said on his verified Twitter account that only residents and citizens of the United Kingdom and Ireland travelling from Nigeria will be allowed access into the region and that they will be quarantined upon arrival.