Sofo.ng has gathered that no fewer than 265 Nigerians will be evacuated from the Dubai, in United Arab Emirate starting from Wednesday, 6th of May 2020, the federal government has said.
According to the statement by the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye, released to the media, it also said that plans are underway with British Airways to evacuate about 300 Nigerians from the UK.
It further said that plans are ongoing with Ethiopian airlines to bring evacuees back to Abuja from New York on Monday 11 May, 2020.
Those that will return from the UAE are scheduled to arrive Nigeria 3pm at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
Emirate Airlines is scheduled to fly the first batch to be evacuated.
There is also arrangements for hotel accommodation in Lagos and Abuja where the evacuees will undergo a mandatory 14-day supervised quarantine, have been made adding that the hotels have been inspected by the Port Health Services, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Office of the National Security Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IPC.
The hotels include:
- Bolingo – 300 rooms
- Apo Apartments – 61rooms
- Royalty – 80 rooms
- Chida International – 200 rooms
- Belvior – 30 rooms
- Barcelona -300 rooms
He also disclosed that discussions are also ongoing with British Airways, through the British High Commission, to evacuate about 300 Nigerians from London on Friday, 8th May, 2020.
The flight (BA 9155) is expected to depart London Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5, at 07:10am and arrive Lagos at 1:10pm.
A circular issued on Monday by the Nigeria’s High Commission in London gave the guidelines for the evacuation stating,
“Upon arrival at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, the returnees will be airlifted on a pre-arranged special flight to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and thereafter transported to an NCDC supervised quarantine facility for a mandatory period of fourteen days.”
He further elaborate on the federal government’s plan on taking care of the returnees and steps in place to ensure the smooth passage without hindrances.
“International passports of all returnees will be collected on arrival for special immigration clearance during the period of the quarantine after which they will be required by Nigeria Immigration Service to present themselves for MIDAS acquisition and necessary clearance”
It noted that priority will be given to the elderly, persons with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, non-resident visitors to the UK and students.
The circular also said that the exercise will be conducted strictly based on the existing list of evacuation requests received by the High Commission in respective countries of residence.
The prospective evacuees will be required to pay roughly the sum of N208,000 (£425.00) each for the cost of the flight. The memo reads,
“Details of payment procedure will be communicated directly to the prospective evacuees via the email addresses provided in their evacuation request to the High Commission,”
It said temperature checks would be made and returnees with temperature higher than 38°c, as well as symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 would not be allowed to board the flight.
While in flight, the memo stressed that Surgical face masks must be worn for the duration of the flight except during meals after which passengers must put the face masks back on.