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Passengers stranded over yellow card scarcity at Lagos airport

Murtala Muhammed International Airport

• NDLEA arrests 19 suspects, seizes 14.030kg of illicit drugs in three months

Scores of passengers were stranded at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) yesterday due to alleged scarcity of International Certificate for Vaccination popularly known as Yellow Card.

The Guardian leant that the mandatory travelling document has been unavailable to applicants since Monday, leaving travellers unable to check-in for their international trips.

Meanwhile, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said it had seized 14.030kg of controlled and prohibited drugs with 19 suspects arrested at MMIA in the last last three months.

A visit to the headquarters of the Nigeria Port Health Services on Wednesday saw a handful of passengers waiting for hours to be issued the card, which was erstwhile effortless to get.

One of the passengers, Ebenezer, said he had applied for Yellow Card since Monday but was yet to get one.

“They kept telling us to check back for it since they have exhausted those available. Today, they have assured that I would get it, but I am still waiting. I’m going to South Africa and without the card, no one is allowed to get in,” he said.

The Director, Port Health Services, Dr. Alex Okoh, confirmed the short supply of the cards, adding that it was due to the procedures for the issuance of the cards.

Okoh said: “It is not that we didn’t have yellow cards to issue, but what happened was that we have to follow the procedures for issuance. If you go back to the centre, you would notice that passengers have been issued with the cards,” Okoh said.

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A Principal Staff Officer, Public Affairs of NDLEA, Jonah Achema, said the implementation of the Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business in the last three months led to the arrested of drug traffickers and the prohibited items.

Achema also confirmed that among those arrested were officials of some ground handling companies that had allegedly collaborated on illicit drug activities at the airport

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