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Nigerian returnees from Thailand to pay N.297m



NIGERIANS in Thailand wishing to return back have are to bear some cost as the federal government has directed the Nigerian Mission in Thailand not to evacuate any stranded individual who fails to pay for his accommodation and feeding charges ahead of repatriation.

  This was contained in a letter to the evacuees signed by the Head of Chancery, Nigerian Mission in Thailand, Nicholas Uhomoibhi, and dated May 14, 2020.

  As stated in the letter and made available to the media, the evacuees are to pay N297, 000 for their accommodation and feeding ahead of their arrival in Nigeria.

  “Dear prospective evacuees, I am directed to bring to your attention that due to measures that are beyond the control of the COVID-19 Local Organising Team in Nigeria, all evacuees going to Nigeria henceforth are to now pay (for) quarantine, isolation, accommodation centre or hotel before departure and arrival in Nigeria.

  “In this regard, all prospective evacuees are to note the negotiated rate: accommodation, N15,000 for 16 days (N240,000); feeding, N3,600 for 16 days (N57,000), totaling N297,000.”

  “Kindly note that the rates were negotiated in Nigeria and the embassy has been directed not to airlift any evacuees who fail to pay the fees.”

  So far, the government has already evacuated about 253 Nigerians from the United Kingdom and 265 others from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the past weeks.

  About 160 Nigerians stranded in the United States due to the COVID-19 pandemic also arrived in the country on May 10.

  On arrival, all evacuees are subjected to mandatory 14 days quarantine before leaving for their respective destinations in the country.

  It will be recalled that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama had on April 23 said some evacuees will be made to cover their bills for services rendered.

  Mr Onyeama, while speaking at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing, said only some stranded students in Khartoum, Sudan, will be evacuated free of charge.

  He said such magnanimity cannot be extended to others due to the paucity of funds.

  According to him,”unfortunately, we just don’t have the financial resources. As you can see, there is a huge amount of money that we have to pay for various aspects of the challenge,” he said.

  “It is a source of great regret to the government that we are not in the position to pay. If we have the resources, we would be more than happy to pay for anybody to come home free of charge, pay for their stay in the isolation centre for two weeks.” The minister stated.

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