The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has faulted the decision by the United Kingdom to place Nigeria on its red list over the new variant of COVID-19 named Omicron.
Mohammed who spoke at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday said the decision is unjust, unfair, punitive, indefensible, and discriminatory, adding that it is also not driven by science.
This is as he expressed the belief that the Presidential Steering Committee will respond to the decision by the UK.
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 – 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.”
The United Kingdom has added Nigeria to its red list countries and will enforce stricter entry rules starting Monday, December 6 over concerns of an outbreak of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.
In a statement via his verified Twitter handle, the UK Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid, wrote that only residents and citizens of the UK and Ireland travelling from Nigeria would be allowed entry into the region, adding that they will have to quarantine at their arrival.