The Ghana Government is yet to decide on whether all Ghanaians abroad will be brought back home amid the COVID-19 induced border closure.
“We don’t have a decision to bring in all Ghanaians,” the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Charles Owiredu noted during a press briefing on Tuesday morning.
He, however, explained that government may treat the repatriation of Ghanaians stranded abroad in phases.
“The government cannot make a decision saying all of these people should come in at the same time. It is going to be very chaotic if you look at the numbers… So the decision was taken that let’s start with those from Kuwait.”
According to Mr. Owiredu, the government listed the 230 Ghanaians recently welcomed from Kuwait “as the first category if any decision is made by the government to bring our compatriots home.”
“This group that we call the first cohort, are the ones that the decision was taken by Cabinet to allow them to come in.”
The second category comprised of people who travelled outside the country on their own and are willing to pay for their flight home and the cost of quarantine.
The third category of people included persons who were outside the country on behalf of the state.
This category also includes students who are on government scholarships.
The final category has travellers who lack the financial wherewithal to return home.
“The little money that they had on them, they started using them so now they are broke. We say they are destitute. As a result, even if you provide an aircraft and ask these people to pay, they cannot pay,” Mr. Owiredu explained.
In the meantime, the Deputy Minister said the various needs of Ghanaians abroad will be handled on a needs basis.
“Missions don’t have the money that will be used for such situations [to cater to all Ghanaians abroad]. What we have asked the missions to do is that as and when these requests come…we quickly take action to make sure Ghanaians in such jurisdictions don’t suffer.”