LAGOS State health officials have placed 67 Nigerian returnees from Togo in isolation for 14 days at the coastal city of Badagry as part of its containment plan to ensure they do not spread the coronavirus among the general population.
Like nationals from many other countries worldwide, a lot of Nigerians living abroad decided to return home when the coronavirus pandemic broke out. In Togo, there is a large Nigerian community who dominated the country’s retail trade, particularly in the capital Lome, where they are active in the automobile spare parts, pharmaceuticals and clothing sectors.
Earlier this week, about 67 of these Nigerians tried returning home but were stopped at the Seme border crossing with Benin Republic. They have since b Badagry, where they will remain quarantined for 14 days, after which they will be tested and those who are negative will be allowed to go to their homes.
One security source at the Seme border, said the 67 persons, who were mostly Nigerians, attempted to enter the country on Sunday despite the closure of land borders. However, Nigeria has a lot of unauthorised borders and illegal crossing routes which people use when the official ones are closed.
“The Lagos State government has already got some hotel accommodation around Badagry. These people will be housed in hotels, which have no other guests their samples will be taken and they will be tested and they will be in quarantine for 14 days.
“Before the end of the 14 days, another test will be conducted on them. After 14 days, if they test negative for the virus, they will be allowed to go to their different destinations in the country but anyone of them that tests positive will be moved to the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba for treatment,” the security source added.
However, Sunday James, the Nigeria Immigration Service, spokesman, said the service had no information that 67 persons were stopped at Seme border. On March 29, President Muhammadu Buhari had in a nationwide broadcast, ordered the complete closure of Nigeria’s land borders to human and vehicular traffic.