COVID-19: Nigeria Now In A Better Position To Bring Citizens Back Home – Onyeama

Nigeria's Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama.

BEVERLY HILLS, April 09, (THEWILL) – The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, has revealed that the protocols for evacuating Nigerians in the Diaspora have been completed and the country is now in a stronger and better position to bring Nigerians interested in return to the country back.

Onyeama made this known during the daily briefings by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 as he spoke about the plans for Nigerians outside the country in reaction to a question about reports of Nigerians being stuck outside the country.

“We have started to get greater number of Nigerians, especially in the United States, where almost 200 have now indicated their willingness to return,” the minister said.

“We are engaging with our embassy in China and our High Commissioners in London and also in France to work out all the logistics but things are now beginning to fall in place and we are getting the sense of what needs to be done.”

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He stressed that the evacuations had been part of the government’s plans since the international airports were closed, explained that the process was delayed to enable the government to sort out the logistics involved.

He said, “The response is not as a result of letters or whatever that has been coming in from Nigerians in the Diaspora as has been mentioned in some media houses but actually something that was taken up by the task force right from the beginning.

“Of course, at that time we didn’t have all the isolation centres in place and all the other logistical arrangements in place. So for that reason, we kept it in abeyance while we are putting those things in place.

“And hence now that we have all those things in place, we are in a stronger and better position to bring Nigerians outside the country back.”

Mr Onyeama directed all Nigerians interested in returning into the country to work with Nigeria’s embassies and high commissions where the are.

“What is important to get out to all Nigerians is that their engagement and communication should be with the embassies, high commissions and not with any other parallel agency, department of government or anything like that,” he said.

“It should be channelled through them because it is with them that we are collating the names and making all the arrangements.”