The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, says the ministry has denied the flight requests of several governors, since the closure of the airports and the lockdown order by President Muhammadu Buhari as a result of the COVID-19.
He said this on Tuesday during the briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, while responding to questions about some ongoing flights.
The minister also stressed that governors are not exempt from the lockdown and no-flight orders.
According to him, 98% of any ongoing flights, are either essential flights relating to the COVID-19, or repatriation requests.
“Every single flight that you would see, every single flight that we would approve would be an essential flight and 98% of them would be connected to COVID-19,” he said.
“A few others, maybe 1% might be either a repatriation request from a diplomatic community which must go through foreign affairs or it might be repatriation due to illness of another kind.
“And those repatriations will also need the stamp of a teaching hospital.
“There is no exception to governors. I had denied several of such flights, including two governors from south-south and two from the south east and by the way, three of them are members of the APC and I think one is from north-central.
“Once you see a flight approved, it is diligently done and it must be essential, COVID-19-related or some other flights like essential cargo that would bring in medicines or equipment or something related to our well being like food,” Sirika added.