US Prepares Emergency Evacuation of Citizens from Nigeria

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Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The United States government is preparing emergency flights to evacuate its citizens in Nigeria over fear of escalation of Coronavirus in the country.

To this end, the US Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria has advised nationals who are not in Abuja and Lagos to work with local airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available.

The Embassy in a notice titled ‘Health Alert: US Mission in Nigeria’ urged American citizens to be in Abuja and Lagos as soon as possible to join the arranged flights back to the US.

The notice read: “At present, there are no scheduled flights to the United States. However, we are actively exploring options and attempting to secure flights despite global airport closures and travel restrictions.

“We will email US citizens immediately once we have flight details, routes, and costs. ZUS citizens who are considering returning to the United States are urged to travel to Abuja or Lagos as soon as possible.

“The Embassy and Consulate are unable to assist with lodging, food, or transportation costs, and some hotels have closed or are closing.

“To disseminate important information and alerts for US Citizens including possible evacuation flights, the State Department uses the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program as its primary messaging system. US Citizens in Nigeria who want to be informed about emergency flights and receive other alerts should enroll in STEP immediately.”

Recall that the federal government through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority had closed all international airports in the country including the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja to prevent further importation of COVID-19.