Connect with us

News

Controversy trails Nigeria’s move to evacuate citizens from UK

NIGERIA RETURNEES FROM EUROPE

* Citizens lament pressure to do Covid 19 test for  £350 in private facilities

*We can’t answer if test’s  fee is a rip off- Mobihealth

Controversy is trailing Federal Government’s  plan to  evacuate  NIgerians resident in the United Kingdom back to the country.

This is as the embattled citizens have alleged that they were being compelled  to undergo the Covid 19 test in  private health centers even when the UK government said the test is free for citizens and non citizens resident in the country.

Covid -19 test in private centres in the UK according to findings cost £350.

“Mobihealth asked us to pay £350 and the result will be ready in five days. The Nigerian officials  told us that it is imperative for us to do the test at Mobilhealth because the UK health system may not be available to do the test for us because it is very tight at the moment for them. If we pay that sum, we would still have to pay for the ticket. That is too much for us at this point,”one of the citizens who did.not want her name in print said.”

Another  expressed disappointment at the development describing it as a rip off. “If you are not having symptoms, the UK government will not test you. Why then are our people requesting that we must all do the test? They can keep us in an isolated area when we get to Nigeria and take anyone with symptoms out for treatment. One of the  lady at Mobilhealth says she was pulling out when she saw the dimension the matter was assuming.

“They are making it look as if the test is voluntary but in actual fact, they have told us that without it, they would not allow us to board. Did the Chinese doctors they brought NIgeria present any Covid -19 test result before being allowed into the country.

 

Nigeria may have by this decision, discouraged a  large number of the stranded citizens in the United Kingdom willing to be brought  back home.

READ  50,000 migrants stranded at international borders, quarantine and transit centres in West and North Africa

Many of the citizens who had earlier indicated interest to come back  said the costs of the test and ticket  are enormous for them and that they may decide to stay back.

The  Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) on Monday was reported to have   put forward fresh conditions that the embattled citizens must meet before they could  be considered for the trip back home.

The commission in a  statement, signed by one Inyang E. Inyang, said: “We have received your application for evacuation from the UK during the COVID-19 period. A major condition for your return will be to have done the COVID-19 test in the UK. You will not be allowed to board without having taken the test. The test is for patients (people)16 years and older. We look forward to bringing you back home.”

NIDCOM explained that while it understands that it may be difficult for some intending returnees to have the test done through the UK NHS as some may not meet the NHS conditions, it however advised that Nigerians in the UK interested in having a private COVID-19 laboratory test within the United Kingdom may consider using private laboratories approved for such test by the UK government.

Abike Dabiri Erewa

The commission according to reports had advised that one of such facilities can be reached via COVID19@mobihealthinternational.com or contact Dr Funmi Adewara on +447753656688.

“This is a Public Health England-approved COVID-19 testing centre. Laboratory results are said to be within 3-5 working days. So, you are free to make your options and decisions,”

The request for valid proof of Covid-19 test result demanded by the commission excludes   the initial condition that intending returnees will have to be responsible for the cost of their flight back home.

 

We can’t answer if £350 Covid -19 test is a rip-off-Mobilhealth 

Mobilhealth International,  in a response to our email said they only a few Nigerians have registered for the controversial test, adding that they can’t answer if the cost of the test amounts to a rip-off.

READ  A breakdown of Europe’s €1.5bn migration spending in Nigeria

Below is the interview (unedited)

How many Nigerians have so far registered to do the test?
There are quite a few
Why are you asking them to pay when the UK govt said it is free?
The NHS offers COVID testing and treatment for free to everyone regardless of immigration status as long as they meet the criteria. The UK Govt has a website with all the information they need, they do not have to come to us to get a COVID19 test done. Those who do not meet the set criteria but require COVID19 test are free to get it done through private laboratories- and they charge a fee. The fee varies by providers and so does the quality and type of test.
 
I am a private citizen running my own business.Mobihealth does not own a laboratory in the UK that carries out COVID 19 tests, We are only facilitating this for those who prefer to do it privately with a registered UK laboratory. There are other private laboratories that people can go to or the NHS. It is not compulsory to come to me for the COVI19 test. The Government has not made it compulsory to use a specific organization as long as the test is valid, it will be accepted.
  Is Nigerian government aware of your activities as it concerns the planned  evacuation I am not involved with evacuation. I am not an employee of the FGN/NHC or NiDCOM. I was only asked to help those who may want to do the COVID19 test from a private laboratory who do not meet the NHS testing criteria and willing to do their test with a private laboratory. The private test comes at a fee like any other business. The cost of the test from private laboratories varies and readily available online, anyone who wants to have a test can use any accredited centre.
 Some citizens in the UK said the fee is a rip off, is it?  I cannot answer that. We do not own any laboratory here in the UK and cannot make any comment on the prices set by various laboratories. However, the laboratory we partnered with charges a reasonable fee of £295 for COVID 19 test, this information is readily available online. The extra £55 covers service charge for organizing these tests for the group. Those who have symptoms must use courier service which is included in the price for specimen collection and delivery within the London area. Those who live outside London will have to pay the courier charges directly for that. Those without symptoms may use royal mail return postage which is significantly cheaper. The price also covers pre and post test doctor’s consultation. Testing does not have to be conducted through Mobihealth, there are many options out there including the other private laboratories and the free NHS testing which does not discriminate against immigration status-  They have options. 
 
We are living in an unprecedented time in human history and we are all under pressure. We empathise with everyone and understand the desperation to reunite with their families.
As a private citizen we are doing our best to continue to support as much as we can. Mobihealth has provided free online screening and teleconsultation to relieve this pressure.We all must unite to fight our common enemy- COVID19 and pray that the situation turns around for our good soon.

READ  UAE pays for 180 tickets as 252 stranded NIgerians return 

Support Voice for African Migrants


Support VOICE FOR AFRICAN MIGRANTS journalism of integrity and credibility.

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best and latest migration, trafficking, displacement and humanitarian reports including thorough investigative reports in these areas, we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to VOICE FOR AFRICAN MIGRANTS, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
* are compulsory
cardlogos
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
22 + 20 =


News

Dominican Republic, IOM clear hurdles for 100,000 Venezuelan migrants

The Migration Normalization Plan will allow Venezuelans living irregularly in the Dominican Republic to work, move without risk of deportation, open bank accounts and join the country’s social security system.  Photo: IOM / Francesco Spotorno

 

 

Santo Domingo – The first group of almost 100,000 Venezuelan migrants without legal status in the Dominican Republic have received visas allowing them to work, open bank accounts and join the social security system under the country’s Migration Normalization Plan.

Created by the Dominican government and launched with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the plan aims to regularize the Venezuelan population in three stages: application for extension of stay, visa, and residency. Since April, when the first phase began, 43,000  Venezuelans have registered to extend their stay and, on 1 July, the first group of 21 Venezuelans received their work visa.

“Now that I have my visa, I feel that for others like me a lot of opportunities are opening. We will be able to establish more safely and formally to offer a better future to our children,” says Gabriela Rivero, who arrived in the country with her husband and daughter in 2018.  “Once we settled, we did not imagine how difficult it would be to get a job because the lack of documentation closed all doors.”

READ  Stranded Nigerians celebrate as government lifts suspension on evacuation

Since 2019 Gabriela has led a support organization for Venezuelan migrants in Santiago de los Caballeros called FEV (Fundación Emigrantes de Venezuela), which offers free orientation and helps hundreds of migrants daily to complete their normalization plan applications.

With IOM support, eight Venezuelan migrant organizations have created orientation hubs to assist the Venezuelan population who are applying to the plan. Of the 43,000  registered through the General Directorate of Migration (DGM) web page, around 9,000 have visited the hubs for help on the procedure. The promoters and coordinators of each hub – mostly Venezuelan migrants – have learned the process with the support and guidance of the DGM team and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX). Besides being trained for orientation, they became the pilot group of the plan to receive their extensions and visas.

“The idea of this process is that we are the ones at the front of the hubs, a migrant helping a migrant, a Venezuelan helping a Venezuelan,” says Iván Carrera, a lawyer from Caracas and legal adviser of FUNCOVERD (Fundación Colonia de Venezolanos en RD). Carrera works as a promoter at the orientation hub in El Sambil Santo Domingo, one of the locations with the most people requesting support for their application.

READ  African leaders asked to initiate financial bonds to fight COVID-19

Support Voice for African Migrants


Support VOICE FOR AFRICAN MIGRANTS journalism of integrity and credibility.

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best and latest migration, trafficking, displacement and humanitarian reports including thorough investigative reports in these areas, we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to VOICE FOR AFRICAN MIGRANTS, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
* are compulsory
cardlogos
Continue Reading

News

IOM launches open South America portal

International Organisation of Migration (

Buenos Aires – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, this week launched the Open South America Portal, a web platform providing migrants and stakeholders in the region with access to reliable and timely information on human mobility restrictions and health and safety measures adopted by governments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open South America, available in SpanishEnglish and Portuguese, shares official information by country on the latest measures, including border restrictions, quarantine requirements and COVID-19 tests for migrants and travellers.

The portal also provides updated information on authorized entry points and key places for travellers and migrants, such as consulates, migrant care and health centres, airports, border crossings points and ports. This information can be explored through an interactive map.

The platform, funded by the IOM Development Fund, is also accessible to vulnerable migrants who may be stranded or are at risk of receiving misinformation on migration.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, South America has been one of the most impacted regions worldwide. According to the World Health Organization figures, as of 8 July 2021 there were 33,475,765 COVID-19 cumulative cases in the region, which represents 89 per cent of the total cases in Latin America, and 18 per cent of all infections recorded globally.

READ  Stranded Nigerians celebrate as government lifts suspension on evacuation

Countries such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador all experienced severe outbreaks. For example, Brazil currently reports the third highest number of cumulative cases (18,855,015) and second highest death toll (526,892) globally.

“Open South America will facilitate orderly, regular and responsible migration in South America amid the uncertain times of COVID-19 and after the pandemic,” said Minister Ana Laura Cachaza, General Director of Consular Affairs of the Government of Argentina.

“Migrants’ access to up-to-date information through innovative online tools is essential considering the changing migration dynamic in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for South America.

Support Voice for African Migrants


Support VOICE FOR AFRICAN MIGRANTS journalism of integrity and credibility.

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best and latest migration, trafficking, displacement and humanitarian reports including thorough investigative reports in these areas, we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to VOICE FOR AFRICAN MIGRANTS, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
* are compulsory
cardlogos
Continue Reading

News

29,000 Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians, other Africans migrated through the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2021 —IOM

The International Organisation for Migration has said that 29,000 individuals including Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians and other Africans have emigrated to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea this year.

About 13,000 were arrested by the coast guards and returned home while 761 migrants were said to have perished in the sea.

Disclosing this to journalists in Abuja on Friday, the Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Mr Franz Celestin, said less than five per cent of migrants usually made it to Europe, adding that the vast majority stay in Africa.

He further said that a lot of migrants were trafficked within the Economic Community of West African States, adding that Mali was the number one destination point for trafficked Nigerian women.

Responding to questions on the number of people who have undertaken the perilous trip to Europe through the Mediterranean, the IOM Chief said, “A combination of unemployment and underemployment is pushing people to migrate.

READ  Migrants of the Mediterranean (MotM), the Italian NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans, US-based sister organization, Saving Humans USA collaborate to save humanity in central Mediterranean migration theater

“In this year, 29,000 migrants from Sub-Sahara Africa have migrated to Europe through the Mediterranean. About 13,000 were intercepted by the coastguard while 761 died.”

International Organisation of Migration (

Celestin stressed the importance of tackling human trafficking which he said grossed about $150 billion annually.

“Traffickers make a lot of money and they would continue to do it until a coordinated response is evolved to stop them. We are collaborating with Interpol in this respect; we are connected to the Interpol i/247 database. We connected the MIDAS to the Interpol database where we pass the information on traffickers to the Interpol,” he stated.

Celestin explained that the IOM has been involved in the biometric registration of children in the North-East, noting that the agency has registered no fewer than 17,053 children in 18 different internally displaced person camps between 2019 and May 2021 in Borno State.

The agency chief also disclosed that IOM was involved in the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Compact for North-East.

READ  Nigeria Immigration boss subdues Coronavirus

 

Support Voice for African Migrants


Support VOICE FOR AFRICAN MIGRANTS journalism of integrity and credibility.

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best and latest migration, trafficking, displacement and humanitarian reports including thorough investigative reports in these areas, we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to VOICE FOR AFRICAN MIGRANTS, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
* are compulsory
cardlogos
Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 Voice for African Migrants. Site Design: Semasir Connect