COVID-19: We lack capacity, resources to cater for over 2,000 returning Nigerians — FG

Posted by News Express | 15 April 2020 | 777 times

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•Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama

The federal government on Tuesday said it lacked the capacity and resources needed to cater for over 2,000 Nigerians who have expressed willingness to return to the country owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs who disclosed this while featuring on ‘Politics Today’, a daily programme on Channels Television, said the Foreign Affairs Ministry is already working with some airlines and the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to bring in Nigerians who have expressed desire to return to the country.

He said the government has received requests from Nigerians in United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA), United Arab Emirates

(UAE), China, Sudan and from students who are studying in other countries abroad.

“We are at a stage now where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working with Nigeria Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), they are the agency responsible for  emergency such as this. We are working very closely together.”

“We have asked certain airlines to activate and hopefully by today or tomorrow, we would have decided on the airlines that we will use.

Hopefully, we will now be able to very soon thereafter be able to send the planes out”.

On the challenges confronting the government, Onyeama said the government may need  to bring back the would-be returnees in batches as the  country lacks enough isolation centres  where they will be kept for 14 days upon their return to the country.

“There are other challenges. It is not as simple as going out and bringing people back in. We have to have isolation centres for them here in Nigeria. They need to spend 14 days here.”  (Daily Independent)


Source: News Express

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