Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Geoffrey Onyeama said Monday that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have agreed to pay the cost of quarantine, accommodation and feeding for Nigerians returning to the country from abroad.
Speaking at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on the Control of COVID-19 in Abuja, the minister said the organisations agreed to pay the bills as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
“The first three sets of evacuees, we used funding meant for something else in the hope that we might get funding to continue.
“That funding dried up. And so, we found ourselves in a situation where either we stop evacuation for lack of funding — but we knew there were so many people who were desperate to get back — or we pass on the cost to the evacuees,” he said.
The minister said the officials of NNPC and CBN were reached out to by the officials of the ministry to support the government in returning the stranded citizens.
“The governor of CBN, very generously and very kindly, agreed; he said the amount I was talking about, over N1 billion because we have over 4,000 Nigerians out there… he said he was ready to explore and share the cost with NNPC.
“And I spoke to the GMD of NNPC and he said he was going to consult. And thanks be to God, today, he got back to me to say he was ready, he was going to meet up with the CBN governor and together, they will fund this portion; a very important portion, the accommodation and feeding of evacuees,” he said.