Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government has evacuated a total of 98 Nigerians stranded in Morocco since March due to the ban on international flights as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19.
The Nigerians were brought back aboard a Royal Air Maroc (RAM) B737 -800 aircraft, which has departed King Mohammed V Airport, Casablanca for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
A statement by Ms. Sarah Sanda, Special Assistant, Media to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the aircraft which left Casablanca at 0900 hrs conveyed professionals and students from various institutions in Morocco.
“The flight is also conveying 35 Nigeriens who will make a brief stopover at the Diori Hamani International Airport, Niamey, before proceeding to Abuja, to land at 13.30 hrs. All evacuees were tested for COVID-19 and will go into the 14 day self-isolation on arrival,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government, yesterday, donated N67 million worth of medical supplies to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe.
Acting Head of East and Central African Affairs Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tukur Maigari, said the donation was consequent upon the request by the government of Sao Tome and Principe.
Maigari said the government requested for Nigeria’s assistance for medical equipment to help in the effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The medical equipment, donated included units of test kits, extraction kits, infrared thermometers and personal protective equipment to cure and test more than 20,000 persons in the country.
Speaking further, Maigari said the Nigeria-Sao Tome relations have been very cordial and characterised by mutual and economic benefits of both countries.
He stated that the two countries shared a marine border which necessitated the establishment of the Nigeria-Sao Tome Joint Development Authority (JDA) for exploring the natural hydrocarbon resources for the benefit of both countries.
Maigari said Nigeria would continue to cooperate with and remain on friendly terms with all nations that recognised and respected its sovereignty.
“Nigeria will continue to participate actively in the work of unity and regionally integrated Africa,” Maigari said.
Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Sao Tome and Principe in Nigeria, Djazalde Agujar, expressed appreciation to Nigeria for the help in combating COVID-19 in the country.
“We value the way that Nigerian authorities came to the help of Sao Tome and Principe as soon as we asked for this to be provided. This also expresses the good and frank relationship that exists between Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe. This is just an example, but we hope and trust that it will enhance the cooperation and the friendship of our two peoples and our countries,” Djazalde said.
Executive Director, Monitoring and Inspection, Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe JDA, Ibiwari Jack, said the relationship between Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe is symbiotically beneficial to both countries.
“We share a common maritime boundary out of which by a treaty of the United Nations (UN), the Joint Development Zone (JDZ) was demarcated and the JDA was put in place to manage resources in the JDZ,” Jack said.