Nigeria Consul General in Johannesburg, South Africa, Godwin Adama, says the diplomatic mission is set to evacuate 167 stranded Nigerians from South Africa on Thursday.
Adama made this known in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
He said: “We are evacuating 167 stranded Nigerians from South Africa today Thursday June 25.
“Air Peace Airline was approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria to convey them.
“The Nigerians got stranded as a result of the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic since March 28.
“The affected Nigerians are those who came on grounds of doing business, students on research programmes and some that finished their courses, while others came on an official assignment.
“The flight will depart here about 1100 hrs and will arrive Abuja six hours later and thereafter, proceed to Lagos to drop Lagos passengers.
“The flight, in line with the Presidential Task Force revised protocol on COVID-19, is being coordinated by the Consulate General of Nigeria, Johannesburg in collaboration with the Nigerian High Commission, Pretoria.”
The consul general explained that the special flight was approved by the governments of both countries on charter basis, as both countries airports were still closed to international travels.
He further said the commission had enjoyed the cooperation of the South African authorities to ensure the operation of the flight.
He expressed appreciation to God for making it possible for them, saying several stranded Nigerians now have hope of rejoining their family members in the country after over three months.
He, however, said all the Nigerian passengers had tested negative to COVID-19 before boarding, which is in line with the revised protocol on COVID-19.