The Federal Government will commence evacuation of Nigerians stranded abroad from today.
The exercise, it was also learnt, will commence with 265 returnees from United Arab Emirates.
There are over 4,000 Nigerians stranded due to global lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The second batch, he informed, will come in from London on Friday and the third batch will arrive three days later from New York.
The statement reads: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in the process of evacuating Nigerians from abroad and in accordance with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guideline, the evacuees will undergo a mandatory 14-days supervised quarantine in a monitored environment.
“In this regard, Emirate airline is scheduled to evacuate the first batch of 265 Nigerians from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and they will arrive at 3pm on Wednesday, 6th May 2020 at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos.
“Arrangement for hotel accommodation in Lagos and Abuja have been made for their evacuation process.
“The hotels have been inspected by the following: Port Health service, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IPC.
“Discussions are also ongoing with the British Airways (BA) 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 7.10 am and arrive Lagos at 1.10 pm.
“Additional agreements are ongoing with Ethiopian airline to bring evacuees back to Abuja from New York on Monday, 11th May, 2020.
“The Federal Government wishes to reassure Nigerians of its continued commitment in ensuring the welfare and safety of all citizens.”