NIDCOM Denies Issuing Directive To Nigerian Returnees To Pay For COVID-19 Test As A Pre-Condition For Evacuation

The Editor- In-Chief,

Sahara Reporters Online

Re: Nigerian Government orders Citizens in United Kingdom to pay for Covid-19 Test as precondition for Evacuation

The attention of the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has been drawn to a story published by Sahara Reporters saying the Federal Government of Nigeria has compelled all returnees from United Kingdom to pay for Covid-19 test as precondition for evacuation. This is NOT true as there was no such directive.

The true position is that for any returning Nigerian back home, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) stipulates two conditions which are in consonance with global Health practices.

That the returnee does a Covid-19 test and  on arrival, the returnee will also be quarantined in the home country for 14 days. Any of these protocols may change if so directed by NCDC.

In the UK, there are Public and Private options where  such tests could be carried out. It is free in all public institutions in UK while the prices varies from one private Laboratory to another.

The Test is however optional in a private Laboratory as there is no compulsion as to where Test will be done.

Undoubtedly, if the NCDC protocol changes, the mission will communicate with the returnees.

It will interest you to note that subjecting a returnee to a Covid-19 test is not limited to UK but to all parts of the world.

For instance, out of the 24  Nigerians who recently rerurned from Togo, one of them tested positive and is still in quarantine in Togo.

Others on isolation at a Government facility have been tested again, and after their results, if negative, they will be allowed to leave.

So, it is totally wrong to assume that Nigerian government has ordered citizens in United kingdom to pay N160,000 for Covid-19 Test as a precondition for evacuation.

I hope you will rectify the wrong impression created in the said story and reflect the correct situation of things in your widely circulated medium.

These are difficult times the world over, as we look forward to receiving Nigerians stranded abroad back home.

Thank you.

Signed.

Abdur-Rahman Balogun

Head of Media and Public Relations Unit, NIDCOM,Abuja .

April 13, 2020

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