CBN and NNPC Accepts Funding of Accommodation and Feeding of Returnees
The Minister of Foreign Affairs ‘Geoffrey Onyeama’ on Monday May 18th , announced that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will take care of the hotel accommodation and feeding bills of Nigerians who were recently evacuated from countries they were stranded in.
It was reported earlier that the evacuees were directed by the federal government to pay N297,000 for their 14-day mandatory isolation.
Following the criticism which directive sparked off, Onyeama said he approached the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and Group Managing Director of NNPC who both agreed to pick the bill.
He further revealed that the initial decision was taken due to paucity of funds even though they were not happy with it.
According to Onyema, on Friday night after getting all the barrage from around the world including saying that they were somehow conspiring with hotels to fleece Nigerians and make money for themselves and other form of accusation.
They continued never the less trying to find a way through—as rightfully said “two heads are better than one”. However, the honorable Minister of Environment, Dr. Mahmoud Abubakar suggested to Onyema to try NNPC and CBN since they have corporate social responsibility funding.
“I got in touch with Governor of the CBN and used as much persuasive channel as possible to get him over and told him I will do the same with GMD of NNPC and the Governor of the CBN, very generously and very kindly, agreed and said the amount that I was talking about was over N1 billion because we have over 4,000 Nigerians out there, and if over 3,000 or something of them come back the cost of accommodation and feeding and everything else is over a billion that we don’t have.” Said Onyema.
“He said he was ready to explore and share the cost with NNPC. I spoke to the GMD of NNPC and he said he was going to consult and we kept our fingers crossed.
“Thanks be to God, today he got back to me to say he was ready. he was going to meet up with the Governor of the CBN and together they would fund this portion. A very very important portion, the accommodation and feeding of evacuees. So we go forward in a better environment.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation have agreed to fund the cost of quarantine, accommodation and feeding for returnee-Nigerians from foreign countries. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, disclosed this in Abuja yesterday at a briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He said: “The governor of CBN, very generously and very kindly, agreed; he said the amount I was talking about, over N1bn because we have over 4,000 Nigerians out there… he said he was ready to explore and share the cost with NNPC. “And I spoke to the GMD of NNPC and he said he was going to consult. And thanks be to God, today, he got back to me to say he was ready, he was going to meet up with the CBN governor and together, they’ll fund this portion; a very important portion, the accommodation and feeding of evacuees”, the minister added.
The minister said the government ran out of funds and found itself in a situation where either it stopped evacuation for lack of funding or it passed the cost to the evacuees. He said the decision to seek support from the CBN and NNPC was taken in national interest