FG Evacuates 429 Stranded Nigerians from UAE, Ukraine, India, Ethiopia

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200 prisoners in Saudi Arabia to be repatriated

By Chinedu Eze in Lagos and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The federal government has revealed that 429 stranded Nigerians would arrive in the country yesterday and today (Wednesday and Thursday).

Saudi Arabia has also notified the federal government that it wants to repatriate 200 Nigerian prisoners because they want to decongest their prisons.

The Spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ferdinand Nwonye, in a statement issued yesterday said the stranded Nigerians would be evacuated from Ukraine, India and Ethiopa.

He said: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that in continuation of the evacuation of Nigerian nationals from different parts of the world, three evacuation flights are expected in the country on Thursday 13, August 2020.

“Ukraine Klasjet Airlines is expected to convey 100 Nigerians from Kiev, Ukraine to Abuja. The flight will depart Kiev at 1.00am (local time) and the estimated time of arrival in Abuja is 8.00am.

“More so, Air Peace Airlines is expected to convey 313 Nigerians from New Delhi, India to Lagos, and the estimated time of arrival of the special flight is 11.00pm.”

Nwoye noted that Ethiopian Airlines had departed Tel Aviv, Israel, enroute Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Lagos, with 16 Nigerian nationals on board, adding that the flight is expected to arrive Lagos Wednesday afternoon.

In a related development, the federal government yesterday disclosed that it had completed plans to provide three free flights to evacuate Nigerians stranded in the United Arab Emirates, (UAE).

The plan for the evacuation flights was prompted by the decision of the UAE to send Nigerian citizens living in the country whose visas have expired to leave before August 17, 2020 or they would be thrown out of the country.

Speaking to journalists at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA), Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mrs. Abike Dabiri said following the announcement by UAE for all illegal immigrants in Dubai to leave the country before August 17, the Nigerian Mission in UAE was working with the Dubai administration to provide three free flights to bring back stranded Nigerians back in the next couple of days.

“If you are in Dubai without your papers, you better come back home because all illegal occupants in that country are being sent back. Please come back home as free flights will be made available,” Dabiri said.

She expressed disappointment that despite the offer to bring the Nigerians free from UAE, some of the Nigerians have refused to take advantage of government’s offer.

Dabiri also disclosed that Saudi Arabia had notified the federal government that it wants to repatriate 200 Nigerian prisoners because they want to decongest their prisons.