By Adedayo Akinwale
The Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), has described the federal government’s directive that stranded Nigerians in Thailand should pay the sum of N297, 600 for their quarantine, isolation, accommodation and hotels bills before their departure as insensitive and harsh.
The President of NIDO, Dr. Lloyd Nwafor, in a letter dated May 17 and addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, said directive came to the stranded Nigerians in Thailand as shock.
The letter was titled: “Appeal to Reconsider Decision on Payment for Quarantine, Isolation, Accommodation Centres or Hotels.”
Nwafor stated that some of the evacuees were made up of Nigerian families who had lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic or are held at the Immigration Deportation Camp (IDC) while others are stranded visitors in Thailand.
He noted that the pandemic has been biting hard on them and about 60 per cent of these evacuees rely on charity for food, accommodation and flight tickets to Nigeria.
He stated: “Sir, with due respect, the explanation you gave on Friday, May 15, 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 its citizens still count.”