The first batch of 256 Nigerians repatriated from the Unuted Arab Emirates arrived arrived in the country at the Lagos airport on Wednesday.
On board the United Arab Emirates aircraft, they arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos State at 07.40 p.m.
Though, the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said all of those who arrived the country tested negative to COVID-19 before leaving their base, they will still need to go into the 14-day mandatory isolation and be given a clean bill of health before reuniting with their family members.
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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who confirmed their arrival, said, “the flight conveying the 256 Nigerians evacuated from Dubai has landed Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.”
The returnees had been scheduled to arrive at the airport at 3.00 p.m. but one of the passengers went into labour.
Earlier, while embarking on their trip, a press statement from NIDCOM had said that, “A Nigerian lady, Mrs Kafayat Amusan, one of the stranded Nigerians travellers, returning from Dubai, UAE, has been delivered of a baby boy on board Emirates airline departing to Lagos.”
While welcoming them back to Nigeria, Dabiri-Erewa, congratulated Amusan for another addition in her family and prayed she returns safely to the country, as her delivery onboard forced the aircraft to return back Dubai airport where the lady was transferred to a hospital for medical attention for herself and her baby.
Dabiri Erewa, in a tweet posted on her Twitter handle wrote:
“Welcome home! They will be proceeding to a location for compulsory isolation. All 256 tested negative for COVID-19 before boarding from Dubai,” she added.
Welcome home ! NCDC officials addressing stranded Nigerian returnees from Dubai. They will be proceeding to a location for compulsory isolation . All 256 tested negative for Covid 19 before boarding from Dubai pic.twitter.com/gHow6EKEO2
— Abike Dabiri-Erewa (@abikedabiri) May 6, 2020
Other Nigerians who couldn’t make up with the first batch are expected to be evacuated within the next few days.
Geoffrey Onyeama, Nigeria’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, had said that over 4,000 Nigerians are waiting to be evacuated across the world back to the country.
The Flight conveying 256 Nigerians evacuated from Dubai has landed Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. https://t.co/oTawdZ3Ft2
— Geoffrey Onyeama (@GeoffreyOnyeama) May 6, 2020