The Federal Government has said Nigerians abroad repatriated into the country amid the pandemic prefer to arrive in Lagos State.
It also said the returnees prefer to be quarantined in Lagos but for capacity constraints.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who made this disclosure on Thursday evening during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, said the first batch of 265 returnees that arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Wednesday night have been quarantined in two hotels.
He added that they would be there for 14 days during which they would be tested for coronavirus and those who test negative would be allowed to rejoin the society while those who test positive would be moved to isolation and treatment facilities.
He said, “We would like to thank the Governor of Lagos State. His personal support and investment in this whole process have made this a very successful first step. He has given us a template to which we can now build and hopefully deliver better, going forward.
“We are hoping to have another flight tomorrow (Friday) coming from the UK. This flight will be going to Abuja but they will be landing in Lagos first, that’s the plan and they will be ferried to Abuja.
“The reasons are these: We’ve been very mindful of the cost to the passengers coming home. We’ve tried as much as possible to minimise the burden on them, appreciating that a lot of them had stayed out more than they needed to or wanted to and are probably out of pocket.
“We’ve tried to have a bargain with the various hotels to get a good rate as possible. Abuja offers us better economy in terms of hotel rates and we have more hotels here (in Abuja) and our strength is more here.
“But we appreciate that a number of the passengers will prefer to go to Lagos but we just don’t have the facilities available to us in Lagos. We will just ask them to bear with us for two weeks.”