By Adedayo Akinwale
The federal government has said it has evacuated 6,317 stranded Nigerians from various countries in four months since the coronavirus that is ravaging the world started.
The chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed this Tuesday while addressing a press conference ahead of the 2020 National Diaspora Day celebration.
She said NIDCOM had made some commendable achievements in the past one year.
Dabiri-Erewa said during this COVID-19 pandemic, NIDCOM, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerian
Missions around the world had evacuated and still evacuating stranded Nigerians anywhere in the world.
Giving the breakdown of the evacuation so far, she said 806 stranded Nigerians were evacuated in three batches from the United States, 831 also in three batches from United Kingdom, 177 from Saudi Arabia, 372 from Egypt.
Dabiri-Erewa added that federal government also evacuated stranded Nigerians from France , 70; India -3 batches ; 540, Dubai (5 batches), 1,405; Turkey (2 batches), 324; Sudan (3 batches), 365; Uganda & Kenya – 172; Senegal, 17.
Also, other stranded Nigerians were evacuated from Pakistan, 56; Egypt – 102; China, 268; Malaysia and Thailand 247; Lebanon, 147; Canada, 51; South Africa, 324 and
The chairman said that with the support of Air Peace Nigeria Ltd, there had been multiple evacuations from some countries and other African Countries.
Dabiri-Erewa recalled that the Commission received the first and second batches of stranded Nigerians back home in Lagos on September 11, 2019 and September 18, 2019. She added this was made up of a total of 501 returnees consisting of 187 and 314 Nigerians respectively.
According to her, “They received SIM Cards worth of N40,000 airtime plus 9GB of data valid for two months, as well as a soft loan from the Bank of Industry to support those interested in small trade and businesses.”
Dabiri-Erewa said a programme of re-integration had been put in place with the support of some NGOs and their respective states of origin which had been written by NiDCOM after the returnees had been profiled for necessary assistance.