from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS – THE United Kingdom (UK) is to repatriate some 2 000 of its citizens from Nigeria as part of measures to protect British nationals from the coronavirus (COVID-19) abroad.
UK has set aside £75 million (R1,6 billion) to charter flights to evacuate its nationals from priority countries.
Of these nationals, 900 will be flown from Nigeria starting this Friday.
They will return home in chartered flights until June 6.
“Priority is given to the most vulnerable travellers, for example people with health conditions,” the UK government stated.
According to the government, this would bring the total number of returnees from Nigeria to 2000 following some flights arranged last week.
The UK nationals were flown from the Nigerian capital city, Abuja, and the commercial hub of Lagos to the British capital, London.
James Duddridge, the UK Minister of State for Africa, said, “We appreciate this has been a difficult time and will continue to work closely with the Nigerian authorities to support those wishing to return to the UK.”
Nigeria, a former British colony, has confirmed over 7 500 cases of COVID-19 and 221 deaths as of the beginning of this week.
Besides Nigeria, the UK government has flown its nationals from Algeria, Bolivia, India, Ecuador, Ghana, Nepal, Peru, Philippines and Tunisia.
UK is also battling the scourge of COVID-19 with more than 260 000 cases and over 36 790 deaths to date.
– CAJ News