3rd March, 2022
Air Peace, a Nigerian airline, has commenced the evacuation of Nigerians who were left stranded by the Russia-Ukraine war.
The first evacuation flight is currently on its way to Warsaw Poland.
The estimated time of arrival for the evacuation flight is 0910 Nigerian Time.
Many Nigerians who were caught in the war between Russia and Ukraine had relocated to Romania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, had earlier confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari approved funds for the airlines to evacuate Nigerians.
He said there were about 8,000 Nigerians in Ukraine, 5,000 of whom were students.
He added that the Federal Government had tipped Air Peace and Air Max to airlift the Nigerians who wanted to be evacuated.
Onyeama said: “We made Romania the hub and over a thousand Nigerians have crossed there. Poland has about 250, Budapest in Hungary has a similar number, Slovakia is rising rapidly. It is also around 200. There are some Nigerians in a place called Sumy close to the Russian border.
“I have been in touch with the ambassador. There are about 150 of them who are looking to cross into Russia and we have asked the ambassador in Russia to try and get a permit for them to transit to Russia and hopefully, by Wednesday we will start deploying planes to start bringing the Nigerians.”
Onyeama argued that it was not the sole duty of the Federal Government to evacuate Nigerians that were stranded abroad because this was not the global practice.
He said people who use their own money to travel abroad ought to be able to return home by themselves.