COVID-19: We are in touch with Nigerians abroad ― Foreign Affairs Minister
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Geoffrey Onyeama has said that his office has been in constant touch with Nigerians resident in other countries through the diplomatic missions.
In a statement signed by his media aide, Ferdinand Nwonye, Ambassador Onyeama said apart from interface with other countries, as well as international organisations which render reports on key developments, with a view to boosting the domestic efforts back home, his ministry has maintained communication with Heads of Mission to keep the ministry informed of the conditions of Nigerians in their respective host countries.
He further revealed that the Federal Government’s initiative to provide necessary airlift assistance to stranded Nigerian nationals abroad who require emergency evacuation, was still open but cautioned that it “is better for individuals to remain where they are, as people travelling from one place to another stand a higher risk of getting infected with COVID-19.”
The statement read in part, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to reassure all Nigerians that amidst the current challenging situation caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the country’s Diplomatic Missions abroad are still discharging their essential duties.
“Our Missions have continued to liaise with other countries, as well as, international organizations and render reports on key developments, with a view to boosting the domestic efforts back home. Furthermore, our Heads of Mission have maintained communication with the leadership of the Ministry at this period, to keep the Ministry informed of the conditions of Nigerians in their respective host countries.
“It would be recalled that in order to ensure the safety of members of staff, following the spread of the coronavirus, our missions were requested to take appropriate measures to facilitate the continued discharge of their official duties, despite restrictions. Only officers responsible for strategic duties are to report to the Chancery on the basis of exigencies, while others are to perform essential assignments from home, to minimise contact at the office.
“Furthermore, all Nigerian Missions are expected to adhere strictly to all safety guidelines by host authorities in their respective posts, in order to protect officers, members of their families and others from the risk of exposure.
“As regards the Federal Government’s initiative to provide necessary airlift assistance to stranded Nigerian Nationals abroad who require emergency evacuation,
the Ministry wishes to inform that staff of the Missions are reaching out to Nigerians in their respective host countries and in due course, the necessary details provided will enable the Federal Government work out the logistics for proper implementation.
“However, it should be noted that medical experts have advised that it is better for individuals to remain where they are, as people travelling from one place to another stand a higher risk of getting infected with COVID-19.
“The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Geoffrey Onyeama recognizes and appreciates the sacrifices of the Heads of Missions and members of staff, at post and headquarters, at this challenging time in global history.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reassures all Nigerians abroad of its total support and best wishes.”
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