The Federal Government Releases $150 Million For The Evacuation Of Nigerians In Sudan

Nmesoma Okwudili


April 29, 2023

On April 26, 2023, the Federal Government initiated the evacuation of approximately 5,500 Nigerians trapped in the conflict in Khartoum and other areas of Sudan. Students who are stranded in Khartoum and other cities in Sudan are included. The government has contracted forty buses to transport these people from Sudan to Cairo, Egypt. This initiative aims to facilitate the safe repatriation of Nigerians in need.

Former allies General Abdel al-Burha, head of the Sudanese Armed Forces, and General Mohamed Dagalo, head of the RSF paramilitary group, engaged in a conflict characterised by intense fighting and the risk of degenerating into a full-scale civil war, which led to the outbreak of war. The conflict has resulted in approximately 500 deaths, thousands of injuries, and millions of displaced people.

To recover Nigerians in exile, the government allocated N150 million for the rental of vehicles to transport stranded citizens from Sudan to Cairo, Egypt. Tuesday, April 25, 2023, the central bank of Nigeria paid the money to an undisclosed transport company via the National Emergency Management Agency. According to a payment receipt seen by The PUNCH, the unnamed company is confirmed to be Abu-Bakar Ali.

The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, confirmed that the payment had been made and stated that the evacuation process will begin on Wednesday.

He states, “They are still in Khartoum; @nemannigeria has arranged all necessary payments.” Nevertheless, there are still some logistical delays. They will likely depart in the early morning hours. It is more prudent to depart in the morning. A war situation is not a typical circumstance. We are all eagerly awaiting their arrival”.
Dr. Onimode, Director of Special Duties, National Emergency Management, and Chairman of NEMA’s Committee for the Evacuation of Stranded Nigerians from Sudan, noted that the government had met with Egyptian officials to discuss how to move Nigerians via Luxor.

The following message was sent to parents: “Good evening, dear parents; I would like to update you on our efforts since the morning, with respect. Thankfully, we are still alive to tell the tale. On our way to get the buses, three of us were harassed and nearly killed by RSF forces as Embassy officials.

“Despite the limited supply and high demand caused by the war, we have secured forty luxury buses. However, the company demanded payment in cash, which is practically impossible. Following negotiations, they agreed to collect a portion of the funds, but at least $400,000 in total. We do not possess such funds.

“We were able to locate money agents, but they insisted that they would not release the funds until their bank account was credited outside of Khartoum. “We have informed the Federal Government of Nigeria to credit their account early Tuesday morning (hopefully) so that the evacuation can begin.Given the above conditions, there will be a delay in the takeoff, but Allah willing, it will occur. Please be patient and inform your children/relatives to remain where they are pending FGN payment. We apologise for the inconvenience caused. Thank you to everyone.”

The evacuation began Wednesday morning against the backdrop of a three-day ceasefire that was scheduled to begin Tuesday at midnight, as declared by the Sudanese military and Rapid Support Force.
As the fierce battle between the two forces entered its second week, Nigeria and other foreign nations took advantage of the temporary cessation of hostilities to evacuate their nationals from Sudan.


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