Traffic gridlock is seen at Banex business area, as authorities ease the lockdown following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Abuja
Traffic gridlock is seen at Banex business area, as authorities ease the lockdown following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Abuja

4,000 Nigerians abroad willing to return home in view of Covid-19

By Siphumelele Khumalo Time of article published May 5, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Thousands of Nigerian nationals stranded across the world because of the coronavirus pandemic are in the process of being brought home by the government. 

According to Premium Times, Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said some 4,000 Nigerians were willing to return to Nigeria and that Emirates Airlines had indicated an interest in helping the government achieve this goal.

Onyeama disclosed this at the daily press briefing of the presidential task force on Covid-19 on Monday in Abuja.  

He said Nigeria had further negotiated with the UK government for an otherwise empty British Airways aircraft to bring Nigerians in the UK home to Lagos on Friday.

"On Wednesday, May 6, we will start the process of repatriating our nationals from outside the country with Emirates Airlines from United Arab Emirates to Lagos. This will be followed by a British Airways flight on May 8 from London to Lagos. 

"The evacuees will be on mandatory quarantine in hotels and will be monitored for 14 days. 

“There are almost 4,000 Nigerians wishing to come back home.

"There are various constraints on us, the biggest one being where to quarantine them upon arrival. So we will have to do it in batches. We have engaged with our missions in the US and agreed to use Ethiopian Airlines to bring back significant numbers of Nigerians home," Onyeama said.

He added that a large number of Nigerians in China were also willing to return home and that the government was trying to strike a deal on how this could be made possible. 

Nigerians in India, too, would be brought back home, according to Premium Times.  

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded 245 new cases of the coronavirus since Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 2,802, with 417 recoveries and 93 deaths. 

African News Agency 

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