Emirates Airlines is scheduled to evacuate the first batch of 265 Nigerians from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and they will arrive at 3.00 pm on Wednesday, 6th May 2020 at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
A statement by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye in Abuja Tuesday said arrangements for hotel accommodation in Lagos and Abuja have been made for the evacuation process. Nwonye said 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 with 300 rooms, Apo Apartments with 61 rooms, Royalty with 80 rooms, Chida International with 200 rooms, Belvior with 30 rooms and Barcelona Hotels with 300 rooms. The statement added 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) will depart London Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5, at 07:10 am and arrive Lagos at 1:10pm.
Additionally, arrangements are ongoing with Ethiopian airlines to bring evacuees back to Abuja from New York on Monday 11 May, 2020. Earlier on Tuesday, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Godfrey Onyeama had reassured on the return of Nigerians stranded abroad due to global lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus. The minister stated this while briefing lawmakers at the House of Representatives on status of Nigerians in oversea countries. He disclosed that Nigerians who will be returning from the United Arab Emirate on Wednesday will pay N20,000 per night for those that will stay in Lagos, while those in Abuja will pay N15,000 per night for 14 days. The minister added that there is an ongoing conversation with the National Emergency Management Agencies to subsidize the rate for the returnees. “The first batch will come in tomorrow from UAE, the challenge has been enormous in trying to arrange for the evacuee to come into the country,” he said.