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145 stranded Nigerians return home as 18 depart France

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, yesterday said about 145 Nigerians stranded in Sudan amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have returned home. Also, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), yesterday said 18 Nigerians stranded in Europe have departed Paris, France on their way to Nigeria. The minister said the evacuees arrived at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja and were immediately ordered to observe the 14-day isolation, according to the protocols of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Speaking through his verified Twitter handle, Onyeama said: “Air Sudan conveying 145 Nigerians departed Khartoum, Sudan at 9.00 am and arrives Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at 12.45 pm today, Friday, 26, June 2020.” However, NIDCOM in itsTwitter handle yesterday, noted that the returnees arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at about 12:45 pm, via Air Sudan. The commission added that all evacuees would proceed on 14 days self-isolation as mandated by the NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Health.

Their return comes just hours after another set of 167 Nigerians returned home from South Africa. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has approved another evacuation flight to enable Nigerians stranded in the United States amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic return home. The Consulate General of Nigeria, New York, announced this in a statement, noting that the flight has been scheduled for July 17. It said the flight would take-off from the Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, and arrive at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

The statement partly read, “The Federal Government of Nigeria has approved a 3rd evacuation flight for stranded Nigerians in the USA, which will be Ethiopian Airlines, Flight No. ET509 scheduled to depart Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey on Friday, July 17, 2020 by 2115hrs and arrive Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja by 1325hrs on Saturday, July 18, 2020. “Consequently, all prospective evacuees, duly registered with any of the three Nigerian Missions in the USA, should purchase their one-way ticket on Ethiopian Airlines’ website at the cost of USD1,250 for Economy and USD2,800 for Business Class.” A total of 160 Nigerians had been evacuated from the US on May 10 while the second evacuation flight has been fixed from the Newark Airport to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport for July 3.

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