President Muhammadu Buhari has approved $8.5 million for the Evacuation of about 5,000 stranded Nigerians who flee the Ukraine-Russian war and have taken refuge in Polamd, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania.
Zubairu Dada, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, disclosed this after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa.
Dada made it known the approval came as a result of a joint memo presented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ministry Humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development to the Council.
The minister disclosed that AirPeace and Max Air have been contracted to provide three aircrafts to facilitate the evacuation of Nigerians. The evacuates include 940 from Romania, 150 from Slovakia and 350 from Poland, all have registered for evacuation.
On the amount approved, according to Vanguard, the minister explained that, “The ministry of humanitarian affairs wrote a memo to the president seeking funding to enable us to conduct this exercise. The memo was to the tune of $8.5 million which Mr. President has graciously approved. That provision entails arrangements to evacuate no less than 5,000 Nigerians.
“Whatever happens you can be rest assured we are going to run any number of shifts that it will involve. Don’t forget it will also involve taking care of those Nigerians that may decide not to come back. It also includes some assistance for the feeding that may have been done by the missions under whatever arrangements. Even the missions themselves are also in dire situations. So it’s a whole gambit of activities that are involved.”
Concerning students students trapped in Ukrainian cities now controlled by the Russians, the minister said “we want to believe the Russian armed forces will obey the rules of engagement. They know the rules about civilians that are caught up in situations such as this. We want to assume they will respect international laws and ensure that no harm comes to them.”