COVID-19: We’ve no capacity to mop-up Nigerians abroad now, says Onyeama

COVID-19: We’ve no capacity to mop-up Nigerians abroad now, says Onyeama

- The Nigerian government says it does not have the capacity and resources to bring back Nigerians stranded abroad for now

- This was disclosed by the minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama

- Some Nigerians in the diaspora had indicated an interest in coming back home due to the coronavirus pandemic

Nigeria’s minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has said the country does not have the capacity and resources to bring back Nigerians in the diaspora who want to come home immediately due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Globally, many people including Nigerians are stranded in various countries not of their origin due to the lockdown in most of the world's major cities.

COVID-19: We’ve no capacity to mop-up Nigerians abroad now, says Onyeama
Onyeama said Nigeria does not have the capacity and resources for such at the moment
Source: Depositphotos

“We just don’t have the capacity and resources to absorb all of them immediately, so we would have to probably do it in stages.

“Some people are of the opinion that tests should be carried out before they leave. We know in some countries it is difficult to get testing done, but hopefully, we would be in a position to start sending out planes in a matter of days,” he told Channels Television.

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He also said, “We have to make provision for isolation centres for them in Nigeria here, where they would be isolated for 14 days.”

“We have about 2,000 Nigerians who want to come back. They’re those in the U.S., UK, United Arab Emirate, China and (we have) 200 in Sudan, as well as students,” he added.

He also revealed that the Nigerian government is currently liaising with some airlines as well as the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency, to ensure the safe arrival of Nigerian citizens abroad.

Earlier, the Nigerian government had pledged to assist citizens who want to return home but said such returnees would bear the cost of the trip.

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Recently, a former member of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce says he misses Nigeria and can't wait to return as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the world.

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Murray-Bruce, 64, is currently in the United States of America where his wife passed on recently and was buried.

In a tweet on Friday, April 10, the former senator representing Bayelsa East constituency shared a photo of himself wearing a black face-mask.

“This is how we are currently living in America. I miss Nigeria. I can’t wait to return,” he wrote.

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