Geoffrey Jideofor Kwusike Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Healthy Nigerian airlines have finally earned business patronage from the federal government as they have been pencilled to conduct the remaining evacuation of Nigerians from Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, South Africa, France, India, Canada and China.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Jideofor Kwusike Onyeama, made the announcement at the regular media briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Onyeama while speaking in Abuja said, some flights had already been scheduled with Nigerian airlines, as the evacuation was planned in a staggered manner because of the limited capacity of concerned agency the ministry to handle the repatriation in a simultaneous order.
He explained further the reasons for the evacuation being done in a staggered manner was that the capacity available in human and materials crucial to handle the airlifting and in providing hygienic accommodation to quarantine evacuees were already being stretched to the limit.
The Minister disclosed that presently, the taskforce had over 600 people in both Lagos and Abuja who were being cared for and on occasions were given standard medical attention in a professional manner and if not well managed, could make a mess of the very important national assignment.
He euphemistically highlighted the paucity of trained medical personnel who would be expected to attend in a professional manner to evacuees and the demands that un-moderated additional evacuees would be required, to make staggered repatriation the best option in the circumstance.
The Minister noted that receiving evacuees must be well planned so as not to undermine the objective of the exercise which is to screen travellers and quarantine them, thus mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and ultimately in the not too distant time, eliminate the scourge of the pandemic.
Onyeama thereafter stated that the reality on the logistic side compelled that the evacuation had to be staggered so that the entire process is done professionally to allow adequate attention to those already quarantine and on their exit, a new set would be settled in after proper compliance to the COVID-19 safety protocol in preventing transmission in all its ramifications.Share