Geofrey Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, on Tuesday said most hotels in Abuja and Lagos had refused to be used as quarantine centres for Nigerian returnees abroad.
Onyeama also said the affected hotels had rather preferred to be empty than accommodate suspected Coronavirus patients.
The minister disclosed this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 daily press briefing in Abuja.
He explained that the challenge was that the ministry had to look for quarantine centres approved by medical experts, adding however that most hotels in Abuja and Lagos that were approached were not willing to be used.
Onyeama however stated that the ministry had been able to identify some hotels in Lagos and Abuja.
He said the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, played a significant role to secure some hotels in Lagos.
He stated that the challenge now was how to bring down the prices of the hotels, stressing that the returnees had some resources challenge and might not be able to cope with the bills.
Onyeama added that the government would have to look for a way to stand in for them, adding that the hotels secured also wanted to be paid in advance before the returnees can be quarantined.
He also said there were certain measures that needed to be considered before bringing Nigerians willing to return from abroad.
The minister explained that the measures were to forestall jeopardising the success the country had recorded in the fight against COVID-19.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, said until the reopening of the economy by President Muhammadu Buhari, students across the country might not resume.
Nwajiuba said the Federal Government could not afford to put the lives of the students in jeopardy, hence the school would reopen at the appropriate time.
He also said the West African Examination Council bill to take place in June had not been cancelled, but added that the examination would now be written at an indefinite time.