President Muhammadu Buhari has approved $8.5m dollars to the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Humanitarian, Disaster Management, and Social Development, towards the evacuation of over 5,000 (registered and unregistered) Nigerians stranded in Ukraine.
This was disclosed on Wednesday by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada. The minister told State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting that three aircraft would be dispatched to four countries.
According to him, the countries where the pickup flights would be headed include – Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania.
Two flights from Air Peace and one from Max Air are expected to carry out the evacuation exercise. Mr Dada said all agencies are fully resourced to ensure that aircraft leave on Wednesday to begin the evacuation. They noted that the flights will embark on a number of shifts until the process is complete.
In the meantime, the first batch of Nigerian evacuees from Ukraine is expected to arrive in Nigeria on Thursday. This was disclosed in a statement on Wednesday by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda.
According to the statement, chattered flights will depart on Wednesday, to pick up Nigerian evacuees back home from the neighbouring countries surrounding Ukraine.
“So far, we have the following records of evacuees received by Nigerian embassies at: Hungary (650 persons), Poland (350 persons), Romania (940 persons) and Slovakia, 150 persons,” the statement read in part.
“The capacity and route of the airlines are as follows: Max Air to Romania 560 persons, Air Peace to Poland, 364 persons and Air Peace to Hungary 360 persons”.
Aduda assured Nigerians that the government is working round the clock to see that citizens are brought back home safely.