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N50,400 for COVID-19 test in Nigeria, free in Cameroon

By Gowon Akpodonor
19 January 2022   |   3:00 am
This story might be of interest to Nigerians, particularly, those who are exploited on daily basis to pay as high as N50, 400 for the COVID-19 test before they travel out of the country.

This story might be of interest to Nigerians, particularly, those who are exploited on daily basis to pay as high as N50, 400 for the COVID-19 test before they travel out of the country. Here in Cameroon, no amount of money is required from any individual, both natives and foreigners, before he is tested for COVID-19.
 
A day before I left Lagos for Cameroon for the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, I had to pay N50, 400 for my test.

The practice was the same, when I travelled to Nairobi, Kenya, in August last year to cover the World U-20 Athletics Championship.
 
It has become the norm for every traveller in Nigeria to cough out N50, 400 since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. In some cases, travellers in Nigeria pay more, including extra charges, depending on where you go for the test.
 
At the Lagos airport, one is asked to produce his COVID-19 test result, which must be negative, before you are allowed to proceed. That is also normal in other countries.

 
But here in Cameroon, the venue of the AFCON, COVID-19 test is free. I also did it free in Nairobi in August last year.
 
On my arrival at Douala airport last week, an official at the counter only asked for my Yellow Card, which I produced. Then, he pointed to a section, where health officials, dressed in white uniform, were waiting.
 
On getting there, a lady directed me to sit down, and without much questions, brought out the COVID-19 test instrument. Who is paying for this? I asked, pointing to the negative COVID-19 result I got in Lagos less than 24 hours before.

“No payment,” the lady said. “Just sit down and do the test.”
 
Unlike the situation in Nigeria, where you have to wait for about 12 hours before getting the result, my COVID-19 test result inside Douala airport came out within five minutes. It was stamped negative.
 
Then, on Saturday morning, all journalists and fans had to do another COVID-19 test before the match between Nigeria and Sudan in Garoua. It was free, and it took less than five minutes for each of the results to come out.

 
All Nigerian journalists, Supporters Club members and fans taking part in the AFCON in Cameroun are wondering why Nigeria has to milk her citizens dry in the name of the COVID-19 test.
 
Ordinarily, the government and people of Cameroun should have been exploiting all visitors into the country by enforcing a high amount of money as a fee for the COVID-19 test, but it is not so here.