The Federal Government of Nigeria will from Wednesday, March 2, 2022 begin the evacuation of about 2,000 Nigerians who have fled the war in Ukraine to neighbouring countries.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who disclosed this during a meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and officials of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, revealed that the President, Muhammadu Buhari, had approved funds for the airlines to evacuate Nigerians from Ukraine.
He stated that there were about 8,000 Nigerians in Ukraine, 5,000 of whom were students.
He added that the Federal Government had tipped Air Peace and Air Max to airlift Nigerians who wanted to be evacuated.
The minister disclosed that family members of Nigerian diplomats in Ukraine had been taken out of the country, adding that the diplomats would also be evacuated soon.
In a statement released from the ministry of Foreign Affairs, about four to five aircraft had been secured to airlift Nigerians from the Ukrainian neighbours.
“Furtherance to our efforts to evacuate Nigerians from the neighboring counties surrounding Ukraine, we can confirm that Chattered flights will depart on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 to pick up Nigerian evacuees back home.
“So far, we have the following records of evacuees received by Nigerian embassies at Hungary (350 persons), Romania (940 persons) and Slovakia (150 persons).
“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”.
While assuring all of their safety, the Federal government stated,
“The first batch of evacuees are expected to arrive Nigeria on Thursday, March 3, 2022.
“Once again, we assure Nigerians that we are working around the clock to see that our citizens are brought back home safely.”