On August 27, 2020, the Nigerian government announced the postponement of the resumption of international commercial flights at the Lagos and Abuja airports to 5 September 2020. They had been scheduled to open starting 29 August 2020. The reason for the delay, according to the government, is that some pending matters need to be addressed still. The resumption of flights should enable global mobility managers to effectively plan the itineraries of new and returning assignees.
On August 27, 2020, the Nigerian government announced the postponement of the resumption of international commercial flights at the Lagos and Abuja airports to 5 September 2020.1 This is subsequent to the initial announcement made by the government on 17 August 2020, on its plans to resume such operations starting 29 August 2020.
According to the government, the postponement is necessitated by the need to resolve some pending matters prior to the resumption of commercial flights to Nigeria.2
The resumption of commercial international flights in Nigeria should enable global mobility managers to effectively plan the itineraries of new and returning assignees. Many businesses require expatriate personnel to carry out key projects ranging from machinery installation and repair, training, rig repair, contract negotiation, and the general operation of the business. Hence, with the opening of these airports in a matter of days, businesses that rely upon sending / bringing in foreign employees to Nigeria should be able to resume suspended projects and commence related activities, in particular those for which local expertise is either unavailable or scarce.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), airlines, and other aviation agencies will specify the relevant protocols for the resumption of commercial operations at the international airports. These may include requirements for passengers arriving at least three hours at the airports before scheduled departure time for their flights. Passengers may also be required to present test certificates for COVID-19 obtained within seven days before the flight and proceed on a 14-day quarantine after arrival in Nigeria.
Flights at Nigeria’s five international airports had been shut down by the government on 24 March as a response measure to the outbreak of coronavirus.
The government’s proposed plan for resumption of international flights to Nigeria may present new requirements such as obtaining COVID-19 certificates for acquiring visas both upon arrival and at Nigerian foreign diplomatic missions.
Also, travellers could spend longer hours at the airport upon arrival due to the additional controls put in place by the authorities. However, the government is expected to continue to innovate in respect of the use of technology to enhance arrival procedures without compromising required public health standards.
Lastly, global mobility personnel in the country may proactively arrange with government-approved laboratories for incoming assignees to undergo COVID-19 testing as required.
1 This development was announced in a press briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, with remarks by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Director General, Capt. Musa Nuh, as reported in “Nigeria: Govt Shifts Resumption of International Flights to September 5,” in AllAfrica.com at: https://allafrica.com/stories/202008280097.html . (Note that this is a 3rd party (non-governmental, non-KPMG) website. Providing this link does not represent an endorsement of this website by KPMG.)
Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not offer immigration services or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Nigeria.
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