Only Few Nigerians abroad Have Asked to Be Evacuated, Says FG

Geoffrey Onyeama

The federal government yesterday stated that only few Nigerians staying abroad have so far indicated interest to be evacuated because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, however, said the government is still awaiting final responses from the various embassies on those willing to be brought back to Nigeria.

The government had through the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) asked citizens overseas who are willing to be evacuated to inform the foreign missions.

But the cost of such trips back to the country will be borne by each individual, according to NIDCOM Chairman, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
At the presidential task force on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja yesterday, Onyeama said the embassies have been asked to forward the number of those who have indicated interest.

“We sent the letters (to the embassies) last week but we have not gotten many persons that want to return now,” he said.
“They are just few, not many; but we are still waiting to confirm their actual number.”

The minister, however, said experts had recommended against much travels to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.
“But if there are those that want to come back, we will do everything within our means to bring them back,” he said.

“So we are still waiting to confirm the entire number in the end. We will then work out the logistics on how to bring them back.”