The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has issued clarifications for the use of the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP), following complaints and inquiries by members of the public.
NITP was launched by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC-COVID-19) formerly Presidential Task Force, with support from the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CA-COVID).
A statement from the NCDC and signed by the Director General, Dr. Afedayo Adetifa, explains that since the resumption of international flights post-COVID-19 lockdown in Nigeria on September 5, 2020, the portal has remained an effective means of preventing the importation of COVID-19 via air travel, which reduces the risk of further spread of the virus and its variants in the country.
The Centre further stated that the NITP portal has been updated frequently overtime and more recently, there was an upgrade in October 2021, to enable a more user-friendly experience for travelers, laboratories, and other users.
It also clarified that the decision to make repeat tests mandatory in Nigeria was based on the review of COVID-19 test positivity data among returnees to Nigeria during the first and subsequent waves of
the pandemic, stressing that the move was necessary for ensuring a balance between NCDC’s mandate to protect and supporting the restart of the economy including international travel.
The Centre emphasised that as of 16th January 2022, over 18,000 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded from inbound travelers to Nigeria, making the associated risk of disease transmission not trivial and that the NCDC is aware of reports of travellers to Nigeria who have experienced delays at the airport for not meeting all the travel requirements as stated on the NITP.
“To ensure a seamless use of the travel portal, the NCDC urges the public to adhere strictly to the guidance on the travel portal as summarised below: Registration on the travel portal prior to departure should be done immediately your negative COVID-19 test result is obtained, preferably 24 hrs before your travel date.
“Card payments are recommended over bank transfers especially if registration on the portal is done less than 24 hours before departure as highlighted by the DISCLAIMER on the travel portal. PLEASE NOTE: QR codes for bank transfers are generated after 24hrs while they are immediately generated for card payments.
“Travellers who do not receive their QR code despite making payment should download the Permit to Travel/QR Code using the “Get Permit to Travel” button visible on the top right corner of the portal. A link to print the Permit-To-Travel is also sent to the email address of registered travellers.
The NCDC said it recognises that technical systems might have challenges from time to time and it
continues to make improvements to optimise functionality of the travel portal in collaboration
with Port Health Services, private laboratories, Sterling Bank and other key stakeholders.
It was also reiterated that the NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Health remain committed to strengthening Nigeria’s response to COVID-19 and controlling the COVID-19 and other outbreaks, as members of the public were urged to remain aware of the risks of COVID-19 and to adhere to the travel protocols put in place by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19.