The Federal Government of Nigeria has revealed it lacks the financial capacity to take care of the over 2000 Nigerians in diaspora who have indicated interest to return home since the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease worldwide.
According to Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, over 2000 Nigerians residing in the UK, US, China, UAE, and Sudan want to return home but the government lacks enough isolation centers to cater for them for the 14 days of quarantine they’ll need to undergo when they arrive the Nigerian shores.
According to Onyeama, the Foreign Affairs ministry is already working with the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and some airlines to start repatriating Nigerians.
“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.” Onyeama said while featuring on ‘Politics Today’ on Channels Television.
“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”.
“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.”
“There are about 2,000 Nigerians that want to come back. There are those in the US, UK, United Arab Emirates (UAE), China; there are 200 in Sudan; there are students as well.”
“We just don’t have the capacity and resources to absorb all of them immediately. So, we will have to bring people in stages and there are others who are saying testing should be carried out before; we know in some other countries, it is difficult to get testing done but hopefully, we will be in a position to start sending planes out in a matter of days”.