Nigerian government has revealed the measures being put in place to address the concerns of Nigerians in the diaspora willing to return home as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, highlighted some of the steps taken by the government to bring back such persons from abroad.
He spoke to reporters at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Onyeama said, “It has been a while now and I was pointing out that we have written letters to our embassies to give us an indication of the numbers in the various countries and once we have that, we will be able to look at the issues of logistics and how to bring them back.”
He, however, reminded Nigerians living abroad that medical professionals had advised that it was better to stay where they are.
According to the minister, health experts say people travelling from one place to another stand a better chance of getting infected with coronavirus.
He stressed that this does not stop the Nigerian government from facilitating the return of its citizens abroad back into the country.
“We are engaging with our embassies to try and discern how many of our people really do want and need to come back and we will then be able to work out the logistics and how to bring them back,” Onyeama said.
He made the remarks days after the Nigerian government directed all its missions abroad to compile a list of citizens willing to return home.
In a statement on Friday, the Chairman of the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, explained that the directive was sequel to requests by some Nigerians stranded abroad in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.