New Telegraph

Travel ban: Expect trade, supply chain disruptions –LCCI

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has disclosed that Nigeria should expect more travel ban over the link to Omicron, the new variant of COVID-19. The Chamber said the travel ban would culminate into disruption of trade opportunities, investment proposals and supply chains in the coming weeks. Director-General of LCCI, Dr. Chinyere Almona, disclosed this in an interview with New Telegraph while speaking on the economic impact of travel bans against Nigeria. According to her, the reactions of these countries to impose travel ban on Nigeria is appalling and worrisome in all ramifications. Almona explained: “Well, the reactions by these countries are so far based on the little-known facts about the Omicron variant. “In the coming weeks, we may see more travel ban or the lifting of already imposed ban, depending on the trend of infections and deaths caused by the pandemic. “With the travel ban, so many trade opportunities will be lost, supply chains disrupted and, of course, trade and investment proposals would be put on hold pending when all these bans are lifted.

“Nigeria on the red list of these countries is a red flag for Nigeria’s investment climate. Since Nigeria is not considering locking down the economy, the recovery of the economy will continue with another record of positive growth for the fourth quarter. All analyses on the omicron variant are based on the little knowledge available now.” The LCCI DG noted that Nigeria’s investment climate would be shaking in all fronts in weeks to come over the travel ban. She said: “This depends on what is to come in the weeks ahead. If the containment of the omicron strain of COVID-19 is successfully implemented, there will be no hindrances to FDI inflow into the country in Q1 of 2022.

“If unfortunately, the latest variant of Covid-19 spreads as fast as described by scientists, then countries wishing to come to Nigeria may not be able to do that since such countries may go into new sets of lockdowns in the first quarter 2022.” Speaking further, the economist added: “Just as put earlier, there will not likely be any immediate impact on Nigerian businesses except the supply chains that may have been disrupted between Nigeria and the countries that have imposed the travel ban on Nigeria. “Some business deals will suffer while the travel bans remain. How the variant impacts businesses depend on how we respond to the spread and the vaccination against the strain.” On the fate of the country’s aviation and transport sectors of the economy, Almona said: “The transport sector (air and land) is probably the first of many sectors to be affected in the face of disruptions and lockdowns.

“Since this sector conveys people within or across borders, any travel restriction negatively impacts the transport sector. Some confirmed flights would be canceled, trade partnership meetings postponed and several other cancellations. “All these will again depend on how many infections we may see in the coming weeks and months.” Speaking on whether Nigeria is going to see a drop in inbound flights among Nigerians coming for Yuletide, the LCCI DG noted: “With the travel ban list increasing, there is every likelihood that Nigeria will experience a drop in inbound travel due to the red alert placed on it by some countries. “Nigerians who would have wished to come home for Christmas may shelve their plans due to the restrictions both as inbound and outbound passengers. The red list will definitely affect international airline operations. “Nigeria will receive fewer inbound flights, especially from the countries that have put us on their red list and others that may do so sooner or later.”

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