- CBN, NNPC Plan to Spend Over N1bn On Returnees
The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have agreed to foot the bill of prospective returnees following a nationwide outcry that trailed N290,000 demanded from returnees by the Federal Government before evacuating them from the United States, United Kingdom, India, China, Thailand and Canada.
Geoffrey Onyema, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, disclosed this on Monday during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force in Abuja.
The minister stated, “The Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, on Friday night called me and suggested, ‘why not try NNPC, why not try CBN? They have corporate social responsibility funding.’ I told him I would do that immediately.”
“I got in touch with the governor of the CBN and I told him I was going to do the same with the GMD, NNPC, Mele Kyari, and the governor of central bank agreed.
“We are talking of over N1bn because till now, we have about 4,000 Nigerians out there and if 3,000 of them come back, the cost of accommodation, feeding and everything else is over N1bn that we don’t have and he said he is ready to explore and share with the NNPC.”
Onyeama added, “I spoke to the GMD of NNPC and he said he is going to consult. So, we kept fingers crossed and thanks be to God, today (Monday), he got back to me to say he was going to meet up with the governor of central bank and together, they would fund the portion – accommodation and feeding of evacuees, so we can go forward in a better environment.”
Responding to questions on why evacuees were not tested before the evacuation, the minister stated that medical personnel suggested it was not necessary at the time.
He said, “Medical experts had told us it was not necessary to test beforehand because the gestation cannot be seen immediately. I think the positive cases in Lagos actually showed that testing beforehand is not guaranteed, whatsoever.”