Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the Federal Government has so far evacuated 6,317 Nigerians back home on account of the Coronavirus pandemic.
She said the nationals were repatriated from 21 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, France, India, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Sudan, Kenya, Senegal and others.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, on the forthcoming National Diaspora Day celebration slated for July 25, 2020, she however explained that many Nigerians still stranded in foreign countries were awaiting evacuation.
Giving the breakdown of the evacuation so far, she said 806 stranded Nigerians were evacuated in three batches from the United States, 831 also in three batches from United Kingdom, 177 from Saudi Arabia, 372 from Egypt.
Dabiri-Erewa added that federal government also evacuated stranded Nigerians from France , 70; India -3 batches ; 540, Dubai (5 batches), 1,405; Turkey (2 batches), 324; Sudan (3 batches), 365; Uganda & Kenya – 172; Senegal, 17.
Also, other stranded Nigerians were evacuated from Pakistan, 56; Egypt – 102; China, 268; Malaysia and Thailand 247; Lebanon, 147; Canada, 51; South Africa, 324 and
The chairman said that with the support of Air Peace Nigeria Ltd, there had been multiple evacuations from some countries and other African Countries.
Dabiri-Erewa recalled that the Commission received the first and second batches of stranded Nigerians back home in Lagos on September 11, 2019 and September 18, 2019. She added this was made up of a total of 501 returnees consisting of 187 and 314 Nigerians respectively.
According to her, “They received SIM Cards worth of N40,000 airtime plus 9GB of data valid for two months, as well as a soft loan from the Bank of Industry to support those interested in small trade and businesses.”
Dabiri-Erewa said a programme of re-integration had been put in place with the support of some NGOs and their respective states of origin which had been written by NiDCOM after the returnees had been profiled for necessary assistance.