The Nigerian government has refused to relocate stranded citizens trapped in Thailand due to COVID-19; unless they pay N297,000 for feeding and accommodation charges.
This was contained in a letter to the evacuees signed by the Head of Chancery, Nigerian Mission in Thailand, Nicholas Uhomoibhi; and dated May 14, 2020, regarding possible repatriation due to the COVID-19 pandemic
It warned the mission not to evacuate Nigerians stranded in the foreign country, over COVID-19; who failed to pay the money.
The money is to serve as charges for the returnees’ accommodation and feeding during the 14 days they will be quarantined after repatriation.
“Dear prospective evacuees, I am directed to bring to your attention that due to measures that are beyond the control of the COVID-19 local organising team in Nigeria; all evacuees going to Nigeria henceforth are to now pay quarantine isolation in hotel; or accommodation centre before departure and arrival in Nigeria.
“In this regard, all prospective evacuees are to note the negotiated rate: Accommodation, N15,000 for 16 days (#240,000); feeding, N3,600 for 16 days (#57,000). Total, N297,000.”
“Kindly note that the rates were negotiated in Nigeria and the embassy has been directed not to airlift any evacuees who fail to pay the fees.”
The minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama had on April 23 said some evacuees will be made to cover their bills for services rendered.
Onyeama, while speaking at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing; said only some stranded students in Khartoum, Sudan, will be evacuated free of charge.
He said such magnanimity cannot be extended to others due to the paucity of funds.
”But unfortunately, we just don’t have the financial resources. As you can see; there is a huge amount of money that we have to pay for various aspects of the challenge,” he said.
”It is a source of great regret to the government that we are not in the position to pay. If we have the resources, we would be more than happy to pay for anybody to come home free of charge; pay for their stay in the isolation centre for two weeks.”