The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, Monday stated that the evacuation of Nigerian citizens from COVID-19-burdened countries would commence Wednesday.
Though about 4,000 Nigerians have indicated interest to be evacuated from across the world, Onyeama said about 200 persons would be lifted in the first phase of the exercise aboard an Emirate flight from Dubai.
He explained that the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had helped in securing almost 300-bed accommodation to ease off the challenge of finding a space where the returnees would be quarantined.
Onyeama said another set of 300 Nigerians would be flown in on Friday from the United Kingdom aboard a British Airways flight bound for Lagos, while the government was working out a deal with Air Peace for another flight on Saturday.
“Since the flight is coming empty from London, we have negotiated with the British government to bring 300 or a bit fewer Nigerians. Ideally, we would like the flight to come to Abuja as we have secured 1,000 hotel rooms in Abuja, but it is not possible as the flight is bound for Lagos,” Onyeama said.