NIGERIA’S embassy in Thailand has written to all its citizens in the country informing them that if they wish to be repatriated back home they will need to pay a sum of N297,600 ($760.46) to cover the cost of their accommodation and quarantine costs upon arrival.
With the current global lockdown, thousands of Nigerians are stranded in numerous countries of the world and over the last week, the federal government has stepped up efforts to repatriate them. One of the conditions of being repatriated is that the evacuees must go into quarantine for 14 days in line with World Health Organisation guidelines.
Isolation centres have been opened in Abuja and Lagos to accommodate these new arrivals and over the last week, batches of evacuees have arrived from the UK and Dubai. Thailand is believed to be one of the countries with thousands of stranded Nigerians eager to return home and yesterday, the embassy in Bangkok wrote to them, outlining the conditions under which they can leave.
In the letter signed by Nicholas Uhomoibhi, the head of chancery, anyone wishing to travel to Nigeria must come up with a total of N297,600. This will include N240,000 for accommodation for 16 days and N57,600 for feeding during the period when they will be in isolation.
Mr Uhomoibhi said: “I am directed to bring to your attention that due to measures that are beyond the control of the Covid-19 local organising team in Nigeria, all evacuees going to Nigeria henceforth are to now pay for their quarantine, isolation, accommodation centre hotels before departure and arrival in Nigeria. Kindly be informed that these rates were negotiated in Nigeria and that the embassy has been instructed not to airlift any evacuee who fails to pay the above fee.”
With these evacuees having to pay for their flights too, the amount they will have to come up with would be substantial. It is not yet clear if other Nigerian embassies and high commissions will write similar letters to their citizens.