The Federal Government has denied it directed its citizens in United Kingdom to pay for COVID-19 test as a precondition for evacuation.
Debunking the report, which was published by an online newspaper, the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) said Nigerians in UK can undergo COVID-19 test in public or private institutions.
The commission said it did not order citizens to pay N160,000 for COVID-19 test.
The statement reads: “Our attention 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.”
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