2Baba, the award-winning singer, has called out the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) over a glitch in its COVID-19 portal which left him and some travellers stranded at an airport.

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In a post on his social media page, the 45-year-old singer said he and the travellers had paid the sum of N50,000 for the compulsory COVID-19 arrival test on the agency’s portal.

The musician, however, explained that he did not receive his QR code required to board a plane because the NCDC portal was malfunctioning at the time.

On its website, the agency said airlines leaving or coming to Nigeria must ensure passengers present the QR code alongside a negative COVID-19 PCR test before they are allowed to travel by air.

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“Passengers failing to show a Permit to Travel Certificate/QR Code will not be allowed to board. Airlines shall be fined USD 3,500 per passenger for failure to comply with any of the preboarding requirements,” it wrote.

The agency also explained that upon payment, “a copy of the Permit to Travel Certificate/ QR Code will also be sent to the email address provided by the passenger.”

But according to 2Baba, despite paying the said amount, he was not given his QR code as expected, leaving him stranded at the airport.

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The ‘African Queen’ crooner added that efforts to reach the agency to make his grievance known also proved abortive.

“Your useless and money-thieving portal is becoming embarrassing. Wake up. Answer your phones. This is total bullshit. Stop this racket, stop this extortion. Which kind of wickedness is this? Just imagine Nigerians are stranded at the airport because of some useless… this is unacceptable,” he said.

He also accused the NCDC of extortion, noting that the development had truncated his business and other personal commitments while calling on relevant authorities to address the issue.

“Ridiculous @ncdcgov compulsory COVID-19 arrival test portal collects N50k per passenger and fails to deliver QR code. Passengers stranded. Business and personal commitments messed up. Who bears responsibility for this?” he wrote.

The NCDC has not reacted to the singer’s claim as of the time of this report.

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Checks by TheCable Lifestyle, however, showed that contrary to 2Baba’s claim on extortion, the COVID-19 test is compulsory at airports all over the world as a measure to contain the spread of the novel disease — and it comes with its price.

In Ghana, for instance, passengers are expected to do a compulsory test on arrival with price ranging between $130 – $150.

It is also the same in the United Kingdom where all passengers arriving the country are expected to pay £100 per test for a period of two days.

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