Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government has announced the evacuation of 98 Nigerian professionals and students from various institutions in the Kingdom of Morocco.
The news was disclosed on Thursday by the Special Assistant to Minister of Foreign Affairs on Media, Sarah Sanda, in a statement made available to Daily Sun in Abuja.
The Nigerian professionals and students in Morocco, Sanda said, have been stranded since March as a result of international air travel restrictions following the outbreak of COVID-19.
Sanda said a Royal Air Maroc (RAM) B737-800 series aircraft conveyed the 98 Nigerians from King Mohammed V Airport, Casablanca, to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
‘The aircraft which left at 0900 hrs is conveying professionals and students from various institutions stranded in Morocco since March due to international air travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘The flight which is also conveying 35 Nigeriens, will make a brief stopover at the Diori Hamani International Airport, Niamey, before proceeding to Abuja to land at 13.30 hrs,’ Sanda disclosed.
Sanda further said all evacuees were tested for COVID-19 and will go into the 14 days mandatory self-isolation upon arrival in the country.
In a related development, the Federal Government has also evacuated 158 stranded Nigerian migrants from Niamey, Republic of Niger.
The affected Nigerians arrived at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, at about 10.00 pm Wednesday via Air Peace.
The Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), disclosing the evacuation on Twitter, said the evacuees arrived the country courtesy of the European Union (EU), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), working with the Nigerian mission who paid for the flight and other logistics.
‘However, one of the Migrants Aiahatu Abdullahi could not make the flight as she delivered of a baby Boy on 24th July. Mrs Abdullahi, her husband, the newborn child, as well as three (3) of their other kids, will remain in Niger until such a time when another trip is organised.
‘Some few Nigerians were unable to make the flight because they tested positive for COVID-19.
‘All Evacuees tested Negative for COVID-19 and are now on a 14-day self-isolation as mandated by @NCDCgov, @Fmohnigeria and PTF on #COVID-19,’ NiDCOM said.