- More than 700 Nigerians stranded in the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic will be evacuated by the government
- According to the Consulate-General of Nigeria, the evacuation is set to begin on Sunday, May 10
- The evacuation will be done in batches and the first set of 270 Nigerians would be transported through a flight to Abuja
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The Consulate-General of Nigeria in New York has said that the evacuation of nationals stranded in the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic is set to begin on Sunday, May 10.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this was disclosed in a notice signed on Sunday, May 3, by Benaoyagha Okoyen, the Consul-General on behalf of the Nigerian Missions in the U.S.
It was gathered that not less than 700 Nigerians have registered for evacuation with the missions in the U.S.
From the notice, it was stated that the evacuation will be done in batches and the first group of 270 evacuees would be transported through an Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 509 to Abuja.
The flight is scheduled to depart the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey at 9.15 p.m., and fly directly to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The federal government had earlier announced that the flight is at the expense of the evacuees, who will all fly economy class.
The notice said: “The projected cost for the one-way economy ticket is between 1,300 dollars (N488,800) and 1,700 dollars (N639,200) per adult.
“Please note that over 700 Nigerian nationals have registered with our missions in the USA to be evacuated. However, only 270 passengers shall be accommodated in this batch of evacuation.
“Missions will, therefore, attend to applicants on a first-come, first-served basis and shall prioritize the list of evacuees according to their immigration status.
“This includes the need to consider those stranded with proof of short-stay visas, the elderly, families with children and returning students.”
Okoyen went on to note that the dates for subsequent batches would be announced in due course.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Nigerians that are stranded in the United Kingdom expressed great frustration over how their evacuation is being delayed by the federal government.
The Nigerians said that the government does not have the right to keep its citizens out of the country for whatever reason.
According to a statement released on Sunday, April 26, by Olajoke Adesipe, a representative of the Nigerians, most of them are negative for coronavirus. The Nigerians, therefore, appealed to Geoffrey Onyeama, the minister of foreign affairs, to urgently come rescue them.
Similarly, Geoffery Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, disclosed that about 200 Nigerians living in the United States have indicated an interest in returning home amid global scare over coronavirus.
Onyeama made this known during a presidential task force briefing on Covid-19 on Wednesday, April 8, in Abuja. According to the minister, the protocols for the repatriation of the Nigerians in the United States have been completed as Nigeria is in a “stronger and better position” to listen to the yearning of its citizens abroad.
Speaking further, Onyeama said the delay in the evacuation of Nigerians was because the federal government was making a headway roadmap on the logistics involved since the airports have been closed.
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