Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, has said 50 trafficked Nigerian girls in the Lebanese Republic, and 19 others stranded in that country have been evacuated to Nigeria.
Onyeama disclosed the evacuation of the 69 Nigerians on his Twitter handle, @GeoffreyOnyeama.
The 69 Nigerians arrived at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, aboard a Middle East East Airlines and some were transported locally to Abuja by Air Peace Airlines.
Said Onyeama: “With the financial and logistic support of the Lebanese Government and Lebanese community in Nigeria, 50 trafficked Nigerian girls and 19 stranded Nigerians were successfully evacuated from Lebanon and arrived Nigeria today.”
The evacuation of the 69 Nigerians from Lebanon comes barely a week after 292 Nigerians, comprising mostly of nursing mothers and children stranded in Saudi Arabia, were evacuated to Nigeria with the assistance of the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has said train operations nationwide cannot commence until the ban on interstate travel occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic is lifted by Federal Government.
The Director of Operations, Niyi Alli, who made the disclosure in Lagos, yesterday, said NRC was working out new acceptable guidelines of operation in order to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
“We are working out modalities on how to operate because the train is the largest means of transportation in commuting people from one state to another.
“Although the corporation has lost so much financially but the safety of our customers remain paramount.
“We have been receiving calls, messages from our esteemed customers to commence operations but we cannot flout the federal government law on interstate travel ban. The federal government is our employer, we have to work with them to contain the spread of this pandemic ravaging the world,” he said.
The NRC boss said the Lagos to Kano train service runs through many states while Abuja runs to Kaduna and vice versa; Lagos to Ojoko also goes from lddo to Ijoko in Ogun.
The Federal Government had on April 28 announced a ban on interstate travels with effect from May 4, 2020 due to the spread of corona virus.