PHOTOS: Nigerians, Foreigners Storm Abuja Airport For International Trips

Passengers storm the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja following the resumption of international flights on September 7, 2020. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

 

The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja is witnessing increased activities as it hosts returning and outgoing travellers.

Two days after the resumption of international flights at the airport, more aircraft have continued to ply the facility.

During a visit to the airport on Monday, Channels Television crew observed that operations were being conducted in line with the guidelines of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on COVID-19.

These include wearing of face masks by both travellers by Nigerians and foreign nationals, as well as social distancing by persons on queues.

Similarly, incoming flights were disinfected shortly after their arrival at the airport and before passengers disembarked from the aircraft.

The Federal Government had fixed Saturday last week for the resumption of international flights at the airport in Abuja and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

However, the government set out strict measures for passengers and airlines willing to come into the country, such as passengers presenting a negative COVID-19 test result conducted not more than four days before departure and taking the test again on arrival.

Highlights of Monday’s visit to the airport are captured in the pictures below:

Nigeria Will No Longer Tolerate Harassment Of Citizens In Ghana – FG

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

 

The Federal Government on Friday reacted to the harassment of Nigerians residing and doing businesses in Ghana.

In a statement by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the Federal Government said it is deeply concerned by the incessant harassment and the progressive acts of hostility towards the country by Ghanaian authorities and will no longer tolerate it.

As part of measures to contain the situation, the government is urgently considering a number of options, Mohammed said.

READ ALSO: ‘I Disappointed Myself’: Fani-Kayode Apologises For Harassing Journalist In Calabar

The Minister revealed that the government “has been documenting the acts of hostility towards Nigeria and Nigerians by the Ghanaian authorities.”

 

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:

PRESS RELEASE

Nigeria Will No Longer Tolerate Harassment of Its Citizens in Ghana – FG

The Nigerian Government is deeply concerned by the incessant harassment of its citizens in Ghana and the progressive acts of hostility towards the country by Ghanaian authorities and will no longer tolerate such.

In this regard, the Federal Government is urgently considering a number of options aimed at ameliorating the situation.

The Federal Government has been documenting the acts of hostility towards Nigeria and Nigerians by the Ghanaian authorities. These include:

– Seizure of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 10, Barnes Road, Accra, which the Nigerian Government has used as diplomatic premises for almost 50 years. This action is a serious breach of the Vienna Convention.

– Demolition of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 19/21 Julius Nyerere Street, East Ridge, Accra, another serious breach of the Vienna Convention.

– Aggressive and incessant deportation of Nigerians from Ghana. Between Jan. 2018 and Feb. 2019, 825 Nigerians were deported from Ghana.

– Closure of shops belonging to Nigerians. Over 300 Nigerians shops were locked for four months in Kumasi in 2018; over 600 Nigerian shops were locked in 2019 and, currently, over 250 Nigerians shops have been locked.

– Residency Permit requirements, for which the Ghana Immigration Service has placed huge fees, far higher than the fees charged by the Nigerian Immigration Service. These include the compulsory Non-citizen ID card (US$120, and US$60 for yearly renewal); Medical examinations, including for Covid-19 which is newly-introduced (about US$120), and payment for residency permit (US$400 compared to the N7,000 being paid by Ghanaians for residency card in Nigeria)

– Outrageous stipulations in the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act. When the Act was initially promulgated in 1994, a foreigner is required to invest at least US$300,000 by way of equity capital and also employ 10 Ghanaians. This Act has now been amended twice, with the 2018 GIPC Act raising the minimum capital base for foreign-owned businesses to US$1m. Though targeted at foreigners, it seems GIPC’s definition of foreigners is Nigerians. The GIPC Act also negates the ECOWAS Protocol.

– Media war against Nigerians in Ghana. The negative reportage of issues concerning Nigerians resident in Ghana by the Ghanaian media is fuelling an emerging xenophobic attitude towards Nigerian traders and Nigerians in general. The immediate fallout is the incessant harassment and arrest of Nigerian traders and closure of their shops.

– Harsh and openly biased judicial trial and pronouncement of indiscriminately long jail terms for convicted Nigerians. There are currently over 200 Nigerians in the Nsawam Maximum prison in Ghana alone.

The Federal Government would like to put on record the fact that even though over 1 million Ghanaians are resident in Nigeria, they are not being subjected to the kind of hostility being meted out to Nigerians in Ghana.

Also, even though the main reason given for the seizure of Federal Government property at No. 10, Barnes Road in Accra is the non-renewal of lease after expiration, the Ghanaian authorities did not give Nigeria the right of first refusal or the notice to renew the lease.

By contrast, the lease on some of the properties occupied by the Ghanaian Mission in Nigeria has long expired, yet such properties have not been seized.

Nigeria has time after time demonstrated its fidelity to the long cordial relations with Ghana. But indications, especially in recent times, are that Nigeria’s stance is now being taken for granted and its citizens being made targets of harassment and objects of ridicule.

This will no longer be tolerated under any guise.

In the meantime, the Federal Government wishes to appeal to its citizens resident in Ghana to remain law abiding and avoid engaging in self-help, despite their ordeal.

 

Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Honourable Minister of Information and Culture

Abuja

28 Aug. 2020

 

Nigerians Not Confident Enough For Testing – NCDC Boss

 

The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, says most Nigerians do not have enough confidence to test for COVID-19.

Ihekweazu disclosed this on Monday during an interview on Channels Television’s COVID-19 Pandemic Update.

The NCDC boss explained that the lack of trust has posed a serious challenge in the Federal Government’s efforts to effectively tackle the virus in the country.

“People are not coming out in sufficient numbers to get tested for all sorts of reasons. We are working very hard to bring the sample collection centres closer to the patients.

“70 per cent of Nigerians access their healthcare in the private sector, there is a reason for that. We need to work very hard and that is what we are working on.

“We have to work together. It is not a question of blaming NCDC. It’s really thinking like a nurse, doctor or a leader of the state Ministry of Health that what can we do collectively to increase the level of confidence of the services that we provide,” he said.

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On efforts to properly contain the pandemic in the country, the NCDC boss admitted that the “primary challenge is not in infrastructure.”

Ihekweazu called for an improvement in the nation’s healthcare delivery system in order to serve the people diligently.

He is confident that “we will have the biggest transformation in our laboratory capacity in Nigeria ever.”

Speaking further, Ihekweazu commended Lagos State Government for its efforts in increasing more testing of patients.

He explained that the state is the “biggest indicator of where we are. Lagos has consistently made efforts to test as many people as possible.”

Meanwhile, Nigeria reported 298 more infections on Sunday – the third-lowest since June 8 since the gradual reopening of the economy over a month ago.

170 Stranded Nigerians Return From Dubai

The aircraft conveying the stranded Nigerians from Dubai. Credit: NIDCOM

 

One hundred and seventy Nigerians have returned from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, taking the number of evacuees from the Arab nation to over 3,000.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) disclosed this in a tweet via its official handle on Friday.

It explained that the evacuees arrived at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos on board the Fly Dubai airlines.

According to the agency, the returnees who arrived on Friday night came on board one of three free flights offered by the UAE government.

The UAE government offered the gesture to Nigerians whose documentation expired since March 1 and were given till August 17 to leave the country.

All evacuees tested negative to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and are now on a mandatory 14-day self-isolation as part of the guidelines stipulated by the Presidential Task Force.

This development comes three days after 292 more Nigerians were evacuated from the UAE.

On Thursday, NIDCOM said 175 Nigerians returned from Uganda.

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As at June 2020, the Federal Government said it had spent N169 million on the evacuation of Nigerians from overseas.

During a briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on April, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, had directed all Nigerians interested in returning to the country to work with Nigeria’s embassies and high commissions where they are.

“What is important to get out to all Nigerians is that their engagement and communication should be with the embassies, high commissions and not with any other parallel agency, department of government or anything like that.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted regular daily activities in several countries across the world, leaving millions of people stranded in foreign nations.

Against the backdrop of the outbreak, many countries initiated the process of evacuating their citizens back home.

Nigeria is not left out as the Federal Government has facilitated the repatriation of thousands of its citizens stranded abroad.

Among the nations where Nigerians have been brought back home include the United States, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Sudan, France, Ethiopia, and several others.

APC-Led Govt Has Failed Nigerians – Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike berates the ruling APC while receiving PDP Executive Council members visit at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital on August 13, 2020.

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike says the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government has failed Nigeria.

Wike disclosed this on Thursday while receiving the newly inaugurated Executive Council members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

While charging the PDP members to focus on governance rather than playing politics, he said the move is necessary to demonstrate a commitment to the people.

According to him, the ruling APC has failed to deliver on its electoral promises, adding that Nigerians are hoping on the PDP.

“APC has failed Nigeria. Nigeria is hoping on PDP. There is nothing anybody can talk about again. This is no more time for politics.

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“You have promised and you have failed, nothing to try you again. We have tried APC and it has not worked.

“Nigerians have realised that it is better they stay with PDP that has the future, that has the interest of Nigeria than the party that gives excuse every day.

“We are tired. You know there is a problem with Nigeria and you make promises that if you vote for me, I will do this. Now they have voted for you, yet you cannot solve the problem. The party cannot solve any problem,” he said.

Speaking further, the governor charged the party exco members to respect COVID-19 safety protocols.

He also asked them to run an inclusive party for all in order to maintain victory in future polls in the country.

292 More Nigerians Arrive In Abuja From UAE

Emirates Airlines
File: The Emirates Airlines plane conveying some evacuated Nigerians from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates arrive the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on June 19, 2020.

 

Two hundred and ninety-two Nigerians have returned from the United Arab Emirates, taking the number of evacuees from the Arab nation to 2,933.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) disclosed this in a tweet via its official handle on Wednesday.

It explained that the evacuees arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at 02:30 pm on board an Emirates flight.

Although the agency said the evacuees had tested negative to COVID-19, they would be undergoing a mandatory 14-day self-isolation, in line with the guidelines issued by the Federal Government.

Today’s evacuation from the UAE comes two days after 288 more Nigerians returned from the country.

On Sunday, NIDCOM said 327 Nigerians returned from the United Kingdom.

READ ALSO: 331 Nigerians Arrive In Abuja From UAE

As at June 2020, the Federal Government said it had spent N169 million on the evacuation of Nigerians from overseas.

During a briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on April, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, had directed all Nigerians interested in returning to the country to work with Nigeria’s embassies and high commissions where they are.

“What is important to get out to all Nigerians is that their engagement and communication should be with the embassies, high commissions and not with any other parallel agency, department of government or anything like that.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted regular daily activities in several countries across the world, leaving millions of people stranded in foreign nations.

Against the backdrop of the outbreak, many countries initiated the process of evacuating their citizens back home.

Nigeria is not left out as the Federal Government has facilitated the repatriation of thousands of its citizens stranded abroad.

Among the nations where Nigerians have been brought back home include the United States, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Sudan, France, Ethiopia, and several others.

87 Nigerians Arrive In Abuja From Sudan

The Air Sudan passenger plane conveying the Nigerian returnees arrive at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on August 8, 2020. Credit: NIDCOM

 

Eighty-seven Nigerians have arrived in Abuja, the nation’s capital from Sudan.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) disclosed this on Saturday, adding that the Air Sudan flight conveyed the returnees.

According to the agency, the flight landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 09:15 am.

“87 Stranded Nigerians arrive Nnamdi Azikiwe Int’l Airport, Abuja at about 0915HRS via Air Sudan today, Saturday 8th, 2020,” NIDCOM said.

The returnees are to undergo mandatory self-isolation in line with guidelines from the Presidential Task Force and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

READ ALSO: Nigeria Records 443 More COVID-19 Cases, Total Infections Now 45,687

This comes a day after 331 Nigerians were repatriated from the United Arab Emirates.

Although the evacuees had tested negative to COVID-19, NIDCOM said they will be undergoing mandatory self-isolation in line with PTF and NCDC guidelines.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted travels across the world, thousands of Nigerians have been evacuated back home.

311 Nigerians Arrive In Abuja From UAE

Emirates Airlines
File: The Emirates Airlines plane conveying the 311 evacuated Nigerians from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on August 8, 2020.

 

Three hundred and eleven Nigerians have arrived in Abuja, the nation’s capital from the United Arab Emirates.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) disclosed this on Saturday via Twitter.

This brings the number of evacuees from the UAE to a total of 2,353 with other Nigerians still expected to be repatriated.

“Fly Emirates flight conveying 311 Evacuees arrive Nnamdi Azikiwe Int’l Airport, Abuja at about 1150HRS from the UEA, today Saturday, 8th of August, 2020,” NIDCOM said.

The returnees are to undergo mandatory self-isolation in line with guidelines from the Presidential Task Force and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

READ ALSO: 311 Nigerians Arrive In Abuja From UAE

This comes 24 hours after 331 Nigerians were repatriated from the UAE.

The evacuees who had tested negative to COVID-19 were expected to undergo the mandatory self-isolation in line with PTF and NCDC guidelines.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted travels across the world, thousands of Nigerians have been evacuated back home.

In early June, the Federal Government said it had spent N169 million on the evacuation of Nigerians returning from overseas.

331 Nigerians Arrive In Abuja From UAE

The aircraft carrying Nigerian returnees from UAE land at the Nnamdi International Airport, Abuja on August 7, 2020.

 

Three hundred and thirty-one Nigerians have arrived in Abuja, the nation’s capital from the United Arab Emirates.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission disclosed this on Friday via Twitter.

According to the agency, the flight conveying the returnees landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 1424hours.

“Emirates flight conveying 331 Evacuees landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Int’l Airport, Abuja at about 1424HRS from the United Arab Emirates UAE, today Friday, 7th of August, 2020,” said NIDCOM.

The returnees are to undergo mandatory self-isolation in line with guidelines from the Presidential Task Force and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

READ ALSO: 306 Nigerians Arrive In Abuja From UAE

Following their return today, the number of evacuees from the UAE has risen 2,042.

This comes two days after 306 Nigerians were repatriated from the UAE.

According to the agency, although the evacuees had tested negative to COVID-19, they will be undergoing mandatory self-isolation in line with PTF and NCDC guidelines.

 

 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted travels across the world, thousands of Nigerians have been evacuated back home.

In early June, the Federal Government said it had spent N169 million on the evacuation of Nigerians returning from overseas.

300 More Stranded Nigerians Return From US

A file photo showing passengers at the Airport. Credit: NIDCOM

 

Three hundred more Nigerians who had been stranded in the United States have arrived in Lagos State.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), announced this on Saturday via Twitter.

The returnees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 15:00pm via the Ethiopian Airlines.

According to NIDCOM, the evacuation is the fifth from the US since the Federal Government started flying Nigerians who were stranded as a result of the COVID-19 back home.

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All the evacuees tested Negative to COVID-19 before boarding the flight but will also observe the mandatory 14-day self-isolation as mandated by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

So far, a total of 1,430 Nigerians have been flown back home.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government says it has spent over N169million in transporting Nigerian returnees from overseas.

The National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, said N22billion was released for the effective handling of COVID-19 response in the country.

“At the moment, as far as I know, only N169million was spent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the evacuation of Nigerians, mainly on their accommodation.

“We haven’t spent much because of the need for prudence in the first place. We need to have clear evidence. A lot of the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of government are yet to do their quick procurement,” he said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

BREAKING NEWS.

More Nigerians Stranded In France, Others To Return Home – FG  

FILE PHOTO: The stranded Nigerians at the Newark Airport, New Jersey were expected in the country on July 18, 2020. Credit: Geoffrey Onyeama

 

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, the Federal Government says more Nigerians stranded in France and other European countries are being evacuated to the country.

This was disclosed on Sunday by the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa via Twitter.

Dabiri-Erewa explained that the citizens, who have departed Citizen Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, are expected back later in the day and will arrive at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The evacuation exercise was coordinated by the Nigerian Mission in France under Ambassador Modupe Irele and monitored by the commission.

Upon arrival, the Nigerian returnees are expected to proceed on a 14-day self-isolation as mandated by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

 

The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa

This is the second evacuation from Europe since this month.

Meanwhile, over 6,317 Nigerians have been evacuated from abroad, and that’s according to NIDCOM.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: 6,317 Nigerians Evacuated From Abroad, Says Dabiri-Erewa

The evacuation carried out in collaboration with the agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerian Missions around the world comes on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected the globe.

Giving a breakdown of the figures, the NIDCOM boss said United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the highest evacuees with 1,405, followed closely by the United Kingdom with 831 and the United States with 806 stranded Nigerians repatriated in three batches.

Other countries where Nigerians have departed include Saudi Araba – 117, Egypt – 372, France – 70, India – 540, Turkey – 324, Sudan – 365, Uganda and Kenya – 172.

Another set of stranded Nigerians who departed Citizen Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris expected into the country on July 26, 2020. Credit: NIDCOM

Also not left out are Senegal – 17, Pakistan – 56, Egypt – 102, China – 268, Malaysia and Thailand – 247, Lebanon – 147, Canada – 51, South Africa – 324 and Ghana – 205.

134 Nigerians Stranded In Sudan Arrive In Abuja

 

134 Nigerians who had been stranded in Sudan have returned to the country.

They arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 10:00 am on Sunday via Air Sudan.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) disclosed this in a tweet, noting that all 134 evacuees had tested Negative to the coronavirus before they departed Khartoum today.

According to NIDCOM, they will, however, proceed on 14 day- self-isolation as mandated by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Health.

Meanwhile, more Nigerians stranded in France and some European countries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are expected back home today.

The evacuees will depart Paris with Air France flight to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The exercise was coordinated by the Nigerian mission in France and monitored by NIDCOM.


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Thousands of Nigerians have been evacuated back home from across the world since the pandemic disrupted world travel.

In early June, the Federal Government said it has spent N169 million on the evacuation of Nigerians returning from overseas.

Since then, hundreds more have been returned to the country.