Just in: FG to close Abuja, Lagos airports

Hadi Sirika: Aviation minister

Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika said on Friday that Nigeria may still close its two major airports  – Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja –  as a way of stemming the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Sirika who spoke with journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Rock Presidential Villa on Friday, however said he is speaking in his personal capacity.

He noted that the presidential task force on COVID-19 will be is in the best position to announce any action regarding the closure of the two airports.

He said, “At some points, these airports must be closed. This is my opinion. But like I said, there is Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 of which I am a member,” he said.

“But certainly and definitely at some point, these airports must be closed. I think it is the safest thing to do because these things multiply exponentially.

“But for a better brief, I think we have the forum, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, they will come up with a statement. But I can guarantee you that, sooner than later the airports will be be closed. We would close down these airports and we would issue the necessary notices to airmen as to what time they would be closed.

“I think it will be very soon. It is better safe than sorry and I think in my opinion, this is my personal opinion, if you want to catch a fish empty the water.”

The federal government had earlier Friday announced the closure of Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu airports to international traffic.