The Federal Government will today commence the evacuation of Nigerians stranded abroad.
The exercise, it was learnt, will commence with the 265 Nigerians in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
There are over 4,000 Nigerians stranded across the globe due lockdown occasioned by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to a statement by Mr Ferdinand Nwonye, Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs the first batch of evacuees will arrive today, while the second batch will come in from London on Friday. The third batch will arrive three days later from New York, United States.
The statement reads: ”The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in the process of evacuating Nigerians from abroad and in accordance with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guideline, the evacuees will undergo a mandatory 14-d supervised quarantine in a monitors environment.
“In this regard, Emirate airline is scheduled to evacuate the first batch of 265 Nigerians from Dubai, UAE and they will arrive at 3 pm on Wednesday, 6th May 2020 at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos.
“Arrangement for hotel accommodation in Lagos and Abuja have been made for their evacuation process. The hotels have been inspected by the following: Port Health service, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IPC.
The hotels include: Bolingo hotel-300 rooms; Apo Apartment -61 rooms; Royalty-80 rooms; Chida International- 200 rooms; Belvior -30 rooms; and Barcelona- 300 rooms.
“Discussions are also ongoing with the British Airways (BA), through the British High Commission, to evacuate about 300 Nigerians from London on Friday, 8th May 2020. The flight (BA 9155) will depart London Heathrow Airport terminal 5 at 7.10 am and arrive Lagos at 1.10 pm.
The additional agreement is ongoing with Ethiopian airline to bring evacuees back to Abuja from New York on Monday, 11th May 2020.”