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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Evacuation of Nigerians from Ukraine begins Wednesday – Onyeama

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The Federal Government has concluded plans to evacuate stranded Nigerians from Ukraine starting from Wednesday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama stated this when he appeared before the leadership of the House of Representatives.

The Minister, who spoke at a meeting with Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, said the first batch of the air-lift of Nigerians is scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

The Speaker said the House would give every needed support to the Ministry to ensure successful evacuation of Nigerians back from Ukraine.

Onyeama said the evacuation earlier planned for Monday was rescheduled for Wednesday to give enough room for the ministry, the House and the Nigerian foreign missions in Ukraine, Poland and Russia to complete the formalities of moving Nigerians from inside Ukraine to safe borders with neighbouring countries.

The Minister reassured the Speaker things were under control in Ukraine as the Federal Government had put necessary arrangement in place to ensure the safe return of Nigerians.

He said further that in the last few days, the ministry in conjunction with the missions had completed formalities for Nigerians to move to safe border points from where they would be transported in buses to the airports in neighbouring countries.

He listed Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and even Russia, among the countries to be used as exit points.

The Minister disclosed that there were about 5,600 Nigerian students in Ukraine, added that there were also non-students, some of whom might not have been legally documented.

He informed the Speaker that working closely with the governments of those countries, the ministry had secured their cooperation to grant access to Nigerians into their territories, preparatory for the evaluation.

He however dismissed reports that Africans, particularly Nigerians, were not allowed to leave Ukraine or granted access into the neighbouring countries, blaming the chaos at some of the borders on “panic” and the fact that so many people were rushing at the time on hearing the sound of bombs and artillery fire.

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