*Embassy of Nigeria building in Washington DC
Following many weeks of preparation according to the Consulate-General of Nigeria in New York, the eventual evacuation of Nigerians that are stranded in the United State of America as a result of the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will commence on May 10.
It was gathered that the consulate-general disclosed this in a notice signed by the Consul-General, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen, on behalf of the Nigerian Missions in the U.S. on Sunday. The notice indicates that no fewer than 700 Nigerians have registered with the missions in the U.S. for evacuation, which will be done in batches. It said that the first batch of 270 evacuees would be transported to Abuja through an Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 509. The plane is expected to depart the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey at 9.15p.m., and fly directly to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
The Federal Government had earlier said the cost of the flight will be at the expense of the evacuees, who will all fly economy class. It said, “The projected cost for the one-way economy ticket is between 1,300 dollars (N488,800) and 1,700 dollars (N639,200) per adult. “Please note that over 700 Nigerian nationals have registered with our missions in the USA to be evacuated.
“However, only 270 passengers shall be accommodated in this batch of evacuation. Missions will, therefore, attend to applicants on a first come, first served basis and shall prioritise the list of evacuees according to their immigration status. This includes the need to consider those stranded with proof of short stay visas, the elderly, families with children and returning students.”