News Nigerian government halts footing hotel, feeding bills of quarantined...

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Nigerian government halts footing hotel, feeding bills of quarantined returnees

News Nigerian government halts footing hotel, feeding bills of quarantined returnees

Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, Tuesday, at the weekly PTF briefing on COVID-19, said the first set of Nigerians anxious to return to the country would be evacuated soon.

The Federal Government has said the second batch of Nigerians that would be evacuated from other countries would pay for their own hotel accommodation and feeding while in quarantine.

The Federal Government has been footing the bills for the accommodation and feeding of the batch of over 600 Nigerians evacuated from other countries and currently in quarantine in different hotels in Lagos and Abuja.

But the spokesman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ferdinand Nwonye, said other returning Nigerians would pay for their own hotel accommodation and feeding while in quarantine.

He stated, “The FG is paying for the feeding and accommodation of the evacuees for now, but subsequently, those that would come back would take care of their own bills. The decision to pick the tabs was taken by the PTF as a way of assisting the returnees.”

When asked why the gesture would not be extended to the next batch of returnees, Nwonye said it might be due to “(non) availability of funds.”

On the first batch returnees, it was gathered that the government was paying for over 1,300 hotel rooms where the individuals repatriated from the United Arab Emirates, the United States and the United Kingdom were in 14-day isolation for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, 500 Nigerians in Saudi Arabia have registered for repatriation, including those stranded after attending the lesser hajj.

The MFA spokesman said, “The Nigerian Mission in Riyadh has been compiling the names of interested individuals for the planned emergency flight. The mission said they were not aware of the reported 11,000 citizens awaiting repatriation. What they have is 500 Nigerians who have registered for evacuation.

“The mission has been directed to make the necessary flight arrangements for the return flight; they were expected to negotiate with an airline, after which the details of the returning citizens and other information would be sent to the ministry for further directives.”

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