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Saturday, June 6, 2020

CBN, NNPC to spend N1bn on 3,000 returnees

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The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation have agreed to spend over N1bn on the quarantine and feeding of over 3,000 Nigerians awaiting evacuation in foreign countries.

The two organisations are expected to share the over N1bn cost of hotel accommodation and feeding of the returnees for 14 days on arrival in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, disclosed this during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

The Federal Government had come under fire for asking prospective returnees to pay N290,000 for their isolation and feeding in hotels in Lagos and Abuja, ahead of their evacuation from the United States, United Kingdom, India, China, Thailand and Canada.

Specifically, the MFA, in a letter addressed to Nigerian missions abroad dated May 14, directed that all prospective evacuees must pay for their isolation and feeding before they could be airlifted.

The government had hinged its decision on the paucity of resources, noting that it could only support the 620 evacuees currently in quarantine.