The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday condemned in strong terms the United Kingdom Government for placing Nigeria on COVID-19 red list.
The condemnation came through a motion sponsored by the former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
Ekweremadu lamented that the UK’s action did not reflect Nigeria’s effort at curtailing COVID-19 and expressed shock that as a country with the least record of COVID-19 in the world, the UK government came up with the harshest policy against Nigerians.
He said: “Very distinguished colleagues, the motion is on the need for the British government to remove Nigeria for COVID-19 red list.
“We note with satisfaction Nigeria’s effort in the containment and treatment of COVID-19 cases.
“Further notes that Nigeria is the only country with the lowest record of COVID-19 cases and placing Nigeria on COVID-19 red list with its concomitant implication is that it will affect many Nigerians who plan to travel for Christmas and new year holidays with their families to or out of United Kingdom.”
The lawmaker said those with valid visas would not be allowed into the UK, saying Nigeria should be unbanned with immediate effect.
“It means Nigerians who planned to visit the UK will be denied visa and those with visa will not be allowed to enter the UK. We note that Nigeria has consistently complied with COVID-19 protocols.
“We are worried that targeting African countries for COVID-19 travel ban amounts to profiling and discrimination as well as an attack on our long time diplomatic relations with the UK.
“We are aware of the global concern over vaccines burden and the resultant consequences on low-income nations in the fight against COVID-19,” he said.
In his remark, the Senate President called on the United Kingdom to remove Nigeria from the red list, stating that such action should be taken with caution given that the country has long time diplomatic relations with the UK.