From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has dissociated itself from the public statements that revenue generated from private COVID-19 testing centres goes to the Centre.
NCDC Director-General Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, in a statement on Monday, explained that money for testing purposes is paid through the bank to the accredited private laboratories.
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He said the explanation became necessary following a barrage of complaints from Nigerians regarding the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP), COVID-19 testing pre and post-arrival in Nigeria.
Dr Adetifa further explained that NITP was developed by the private sector and managed by Nigerians in the public sector as one of several measures introduced to limit the risk of importation and spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, with its challenges.
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‘But despite the challenges in the functionalities of the portal, mostly related to payments using foreign cards, we have continued to work extremely hard on its improvement,’ he said.
‘However, testing for personal purposes such as travel is paid for by individuals to be conducted in private laboratories.’
Dr Adetifa confirmed that the current travel advisory and public health safety measures are under review by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 and will be updated shortly.
‘But in the meantime, we will continue to deliver on our mandate, including strong response to COVID-19 and other concurrent disease outbreaks in Nigeria,’ he said.