The Nigerian Federal Government has insisted that the basic criteria for evacuation of Nigerians abroad, is that they must be “COVID-19 free”.
The Federal Government had included this in the “COVID-19 Application Form for Nigerians who want to return home” on the website of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission which Nigerian citizens abroad must completely fill.
According to the Federal Government, every Nigerian who desires to be evacuated must be tested for Coronavirus and certified negative.
Part of the criteria read that “you MUST get tested for the Virus in your country of residence and be issued an Authorised Health Clearance Certificate attesting that you are COVID-19 free. This Certificate MUST be presented and authenticated by officials at the Airport in your country of departure before you are allowed to board the Aircraft”.
The Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, confirmed the position of the FG, stating that it is a directive from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, that must be followed.
The came after a concern on the position was raise by a twitter user, Adeolu Anthony Olagunju.
“Dear Madam, we have been instructed to go for a COVID-19 test before we can be considered for evacuation from the United States. This is both sad and shocking to us considering that we are visitors in the US with no access to any health and social care benefits.”
Dabiri-Erewa in response said,
“Beyond NIDCOM power. It is an NCDC protocol based on very cogent reasons, I am sure. We will continue to engage with them. If anything changes, our embassy will inform you. Scary times but the Lord will heal the world as we do look forward to welcoming you home soon.