Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, has said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have agreed to foot the accommodation and feeding costs of evacuees during their compulsory 14-day quarantine.
He said this during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing on Monday.
He said the Federal Government had faced backlash from around the world after imposing the costs on evacuees, with many saying there was a connivance with hotels to make money from them.
“After getting all the barrage from all around the world including that we were somehow conspiring with hotels to fleece Nigerians and make money for ourselves and other kinds of accusations, we continued to diverse to find a way through.
“They say that two heads are better than one. The Honourable Minister of Environment, Dr Mahmoud Abubakar, called me on Friday and suggested that why not try NNPC and CBN. They have corporate social responsibility funding and I told him I will do that immediately.
“I got in touch with the governor of the CBN and he generously agreed. He said the amount I was talking about is over a billion naira because we have over 4000 Nigerians out there and if over 3000 of them come back, the cost of feeding and accommodation is over a billion naira that we don’t have. He said he was ready to share the cost with the NNPC.
“I spoke with the GMD of NNPC and he said he was going to consult and thanks be to God today (Monday), he got back to me and he said he was going to meet with the governor of CBN and together, they will fund this portion, a very important one, the feeding and accommodation of the evacuees,” he said.