Coronavirus: Foreigners leaving Nigeria to use their health facilities – Minister

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Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, says foreign citizens are being evacuated from Nigeria because they are more familiar with health systems in their countries.

Recall that a chartered Air France flight on Thursday, March 26, evacuated 378 European citizens from Nigeria through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos state.

Onyeama on Friday, April 3, disclosed that there is no hidden agenda behind some countries evacuating their citizens from Nigeria.

The minister explained further that the diplomatic staff of most of the countries are still in Nigeria, and that hey have no plans of leaving.

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According to him, “It is basically a case where people are more familiar with the health system in their various countries and so prefer to go to the various countries so in the event that they might have to be confined.

“They would be in more familiar surroundings and they would also have access to medical practitioners and facilities that they are used to.

“So, that is really the reason. And you will find that a large number of those countries evacuating citizens, that their heads of mission and ambassadors and other staff are still here in Nigeria and there are no plans of leaving.”

Earlier, The Herald reported that the chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has disclosed that Nigerians stranded abroad due to coronavirus will soon be evacuated.

Dabiri-Erewa said the ministry of foreign affairs has called for a compilation of the number of Nigerians in the diaspora who are willing to return home.

According to her, this became necessary after Nigerians stranded abroad made a request to this effect following the spread of coronavirus. She explained further that the prospective evacuees must be quarantined upon their return.

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