President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the release of $8.5 million (N3.5 billion) to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to facilitate the immediate evacuation of Nigerians trapped in the Russia-Ukraine war.
Reports came that the directive came following the approval of a joint memo presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Wednesday, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Zubairu Dada, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said Air Peace and Max Air would provide three aircraft for the evacuation.
Dada also said a total of 1,440 Nigerians would be evacuated from Romania, Slovakia and Poland.
“The ministry of humanitarian affairs wrote a memo to the president seeking funding to enable us to conduct this exercise,” he said.
“The memo was in the tune of $8.5 million which Mr. President has graciously approved. That provision entails arrangements 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 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.”