Ukraine: Buhari approves $8.5m to evacuate 5,000 Nigerians

Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved $8.5 million for immediate evacuation of about 5,000 Nigerians who have been stranded following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, minister of state for foreign affairs Zubairu Dada announced on Wednesday.

Joined by the humanitarian minister, Sadiya Farouk, Dada told reporters after the virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) that the approval came after a joint memo presented to the council by the ministries of foreign affairs and humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development.

He stated that Air Peace and Max Air airlines had been contracted to provide three aircrafts and run as many shifts as possible to facilitate the evacuation.

The minister said those to be evacuated include 940 from Romania, 150 from Slovakia and 350 from Poland who had registered for evacuation.

On the approved amount, Dada said: “The ministry of humanitarian affairs wrote a memo to the president seeking for funding to enable us conduct this exercise. The memo was in the tune of $8.5 million which Mr President has graciously approved.

“That provision entails arrangement to evacuate not less than 5,000 Nigerians. Whatever happens, you can rest assured we are going to run any number of shifts that it will be involved.”

On students trapped in Ukrainian cities now in the hands of Russians, Dada 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.”