The Federal Government has said the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation have agreed to shoulder the cost of accommodating and feeding evacuees during their 14-day compulsory quarantine.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, made this known on Monday during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He said the gesture was made possible by the co-operation of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari.
The minister explained that the MFA had imposed advance payment of feeding and hotel bills on evacuees because the FG had no source of funding.
He said, “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.”