Evacuation: NIDO Flays FG’s Directive on Payment of N297,600 by Stranded Nigerians in Thailand

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By Adedayo Akinwale

Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Thailand, has described the directive by the federal government that stranded Nigerians in Thailand must pay the sum of N297,600 for their quarantine, isolation, accommodation centres or hotels before their departure as insensitive and harsh.

Its President, Dr. Lloyd Nwafor, in a letter dated May 17 and addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, titled: ‘Appeal to Reconsider Decision on Payment for Quarantine, Isolation, Accommodation Centres or Hotels’, said it came to the stranded Nigerians in Thailand as a shock.

He said that some of the evacuees are families who lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic, some are at the Immigration Deportation Camp (IDC), while others are visitors stranded in Thailand.

Nwafor noted that the plague of Covid-19 is biting hard on them and about 60 per cent of the evacuees rely on charity for food, accommodation and flight tickets to Nigeria.

He stated: “However, the news of the payment of almost N300,000 for quarantine,
isolation, and accommodation centre on hotels for each evacuee before departure and
arrival in Nigeria came to NIDO Thailand as a shock.

“Sir, with due respect, the explanation you gave on Friday, 15th May, 2020 at the weekly briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 did not go down well. Nigerians in Thailand and around the world are interpreting it as insensitive, uncaring and harsh.

“How can a jobless family of four or five evacuees cater for their tickets and be able to
afford this money? The government of Nigeria should rise to this challenge and send a
message to the world that their citizens still count.”

Nwafor stressed that the image and dignity of Nigeria is at stake at this moment, while also pleading with the federal government to reconsider its decision and airlift the stranded Nigerians to reunite with their families at home.