The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MNA and the Federal Ministry Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, FMHADMSD have jointly described the approved 1.2 million dollars to evacuate trapped Nigerians in Sudan as a righteous and reasonable decision.
The duo permanent secretaries disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, 29th April, 2023.
Following the rumour being spread on social media platforms by some ill-mannered and ignorant citizens on how such huge amount of money could be allocated for just automobile conveyance to neighboring country in Egypt, the ministries thereby stated that the negotiation took place under emergency and competition.
“The amount in question was negotiated in a condition of war and where there are competing demands for same bus services by other countries also trying to evacuate their citizens.
“Therefore, the cooperation and understanding of all and sundry is required to complement ongoing efforts aimed at ensuring the safe return of every Nigerian trapped in Sudan,” the statement reads.
On behalf of the federal government of Nigeria, the ministers also expressed gratitude to all the countries which have been supportive in one way or the other in the fleeing of Nigerian citizens from the war zone of Sudan.
“Particularly, Nigeria acknowledges the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for graciously assisting with the evacuation of eight Nigerians from Sudan to safety in its territory, from where they would be airlifted back to Nigeria,” they added.
Both mentioned the safe arrival of the first batch of 13 buses conveying six hundred and thirty seven (637) evacuees, which took off on Wednesday, 26th April, 2023 to Aswan in Egypt from where they will be airlifted to Nigeria in the coming hours by the Nigerian Air Force and Air Peace airline, who have been on standby for the operations.
They added that the movement of the second batch of 29 buses will commence on Saturday, 29th April, 2023.
“The evacuees are advised to be at the designated locations with only one luggage. Contrary to insinuations on the social media, Embassy staff are very much on ground in Khartoum to coordinate the evacuation exercise to the very end.
“The students and other Nigerians awaiting evacuation from Khartoum, Sudan are therefore, advised to cooperate with them in order to ensure orderliness and proper documentation while embarking on the buses. This will go a long way in speeding up the process and avoiding unnecessary delays with documentation and clearance upon arrival at the Aswan, Egypt.
“While the Federal Government empathizes with affected Nigerians, maintaining order amidst the desperate situation remains crucial to getting all interested Nigerians out of the war zone in record time before the expiration of the ceasefire, which has been extended by 72 hours,” the ministers said.