ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), says that a sum of $9 was paid for each Nigerian to leave Sudan and consequently, $25 for entrance into Egypt.
This was as the Agency also disclosed that a total of 2,518 Nigerians have been successfully evacuated in 15 flights, making it the conclusion of stranded Nigerian Students profiled for evacuation.
The Director-General, NEMA Mustapha Habib Ahmed, made this known in Abuja on Sunday at a media interaction on evacuating stranded Nigerian citizens from Sudan back home.
Recall that 4,000 Nigerians were reported to be stranded in Sudan following the ongoing regional crisis, however, when asked what was the fate of the remaining Nigerians, the DG NEMA said all Nigerians that submitted themselves for evacuation have been brought back home.
Ahmed added that the Agency had no power to evacuate Nigerians who did not want to return home.
“If there are others who decided to stay back, they are at liberty to do so, but those who volunteered to come out, we picked them from the meeting point and brought them back home safely,” he said.
He disclosed that no lives were lost during the evacuation exercise and that a total of 23 sick evacuees were received.
Out of these 23 sick persons, Ahmed said 10 were treated on arrival by officials of NEMA, Port Health and other medical personnel within the airport, while 13 were referred to Nigerian Air Force Hospital Abuja.
“Among these was an 8-day-old baby who was delivered while the mother was awaiting evacuation at Port Sudan. The baby is currently being treated for jaundice at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada. A patient also with a hand injury is being treated at Federal Medical Centre Jabi Abuja.
“The 15th flight yesterday marks the conclusion of the evacuation of the stranded students that were profiled for airlift back home. We thank God Almighty that no life of any Nigerian was lost in the crisis so far and during the evacuation,” he said.
The NEMA boss revealed that about 160 women and children were still awaiting evacuation but that their identities are still yet to be confirmed. Only then would the exercise be finally concluded.
He said: “We have evacuated all students. The Ambassador in Sudan has called and said that there are 160 women and children with no passports still in Sudan. I said he must profile, access and verify who they are. If it is confirmed that those 160 women and children are truly Nigerians, then we can evacuate them. This will be the closure for the evacuation exercise.”
Ahmed thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, for their efforts.
Furtherance to his appreciation, he said: “We also thank the ministries for their support towards the success of the operations. Equally, I thank the staff of the Nigerian Embassies in Egypt and Sudan. May I also use this opportunity to thank various stakeholders, especially the Chairman/CEO Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Dr Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Honourable Federal Commissioner of National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Hajiya Imaan Ibrahim-Sulaiman.
“The Agency will like to express its gratitude to the Chairman of Air Peace Ltd, Mr Allen Onyema, for the bold decision to evacuate the Nigerian returnees for free from Aswan Egypt. Equally, we thank Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who, through his Dangote foundation gave tokens of N100,000 and dignity packs to each of the returnees.”