FG Evacuates 167 Stranded Nigerians from South Africa


•Approves third evacuation flights for Nigerians in US

By Adedayo Akinwale

The federal government has evacuated 167 stranded Nigerians from South Africa.

It has also approved the evacuation of the third batch of stranded Nigerians from the United States.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama disclosed this when he tweeted from his verified Twitter handle on Friday.

According to him, “Air Peace conveying 167 Nigerians just departed O.R. Tambo International Airport Johannesburg, South Africa for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

“45 passengers will disembark in Abuja, and thereafter the plane will leave for Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos with 122 passengers,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York has revealed in a statement that the federal government has approved a third evacuation flight for stranded Nigerians in the USA.

The statement revealed that Ethiopian Airlines, Flight No. ET509 is scheduled to depart Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey on Friday, July 17, by 21:15hrs and arrive Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, by 13:25hrs on Saturday, July 18, 2020.

The Consulate General said that all prospective evacuees, duly registered with any of the three Nigerian Missions in the USA, should purchase their one-way tickets through www.ethiopianairlines.com at the cost of $1,250, 00 (N575,000) for Economy class and $2,800.00 (N1,288,000) for Business Class for adult/child fare, including all taxes, with the usual percentage reduction for infants under 2yrs.

The Consulate General however advised all prospective evacuees who purchased tickets, to forward their name, phone number and contact address of their Next of Kin in Nigeria to cgnny@nigeriahouse.com for confirmation, which will be done on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

The statement said in accordance with the Nigerian Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, all prospective evacuees must present an original Covid-19 negative test result (not older than 14 days) at the Airport of Departure and undergo a Temperature check 4hrs before departure.

The statement added: “Any intending evacuees without the stipulated test result, or a body temperature above 38 degrees centigrade, or any symptoms suggestive of Covid-19, would not be allowed to check in.

“While on board, all prospective evacuees are required to be in possession of a hand sanitizer for intermittent use throughout the journey and wear face masks. Furthermore, all returnees are enjoined to adhere strictly to all instructions of Port Health Services (PHS) officials and observe other entry screening protocols on arrival.”

Also, the Nigeria High Commission,
London, has said that following the conclusion of arrangements for the 28th June, 2020 flight, it has commence arrangements with Air Peace Airlines for another flight to Abuja and Lagos on 13th July, 2020.

In a statement Friday said that in the light of the foregoing, Business Class ticket would cost $1,400 (N644,000), while Economy Class would cost $700 (N322,000), adding that Child fare is same as adult fare and infant u der 2yrs would cost 10% of adult fare.

It added all prospective evacuees who could not be on the flight scheduled for 28th June, 2020, now have the opportunity to make payment for their interested ticket class to provided accounts.

The statement stated: “Payment in Naira is also acceptable at the going market rate of N460/USD. If payment is made by proxy, full names of the passenger and the payee must be reflected and forwarded to the WhatsApp number and email addresses above.

“Prospective evacuees are to note that the issuance of tickets shall be on a first come first served basis.”