President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sum of $8.5 million for the immediate evacuation of stranded Nigerians caught in the Russia-Ukraine war.

This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, in a briefing with State House Correspondents shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting which was presided over by Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to Him, Air Peace and Max Air airlines had been contracted to provide three aircrafts to facilitate the evacuation. He said those to be evacuated include 940 from Romania, 150 from Slovakia and 350 from Poland who had registered to be evacuated.

In His remark on the approved amount, Dada stated 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 $8.5m which Mr. President has graciously approved. That provision entails an arrangement to evacuate no less than 5,000 Nigerians. 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.”

When asked if the amount would be released immediately for the exercise, the minister responded in the affirmative and confirmed that the amount would be released immediately to enable the operations to commence today (Wednesday).

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