The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation have offered to foot the bills of quarantining citizens returning to the country.
The bills, estimated to be about N1billion will cover the hotel accommodation and feeding for 3,000 out of the 4,000 people being expected.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, disclosed this during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.
Onyeama said the government was not comfortable asking would-be returnees to pick their bills but for the paucity of funds
he minister said: “Last Friday night after getting all the barrage from around the world, including allegation that we were conspiring with hotels to fleece Nigerians and other forms of accusations, we tried to find a way out of it.
“Minister of Environment, Dr. Mahmoud Abubakar, called me and suggested that we approach the NNPC and the CBN. He reminded me that the two organisations had corporate social responsibility funds.
“I got in touch with the Governor of the CBN (Godwin Emefiele) and the GMD of the NNPC (Mele Kyari). I thank them generously for agreeing to spend over N1 billion because we have over 4,000 Nigerians out there.
If over 3,000 come back, the cost of accommodation, feeding and other things is over a billion that we don’t have.
“But thank God the governor of the CBN and the GMD agreed to fund the accommodation and feeding of the would-be evacuees.”
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