The Federal Government has explained that the sum of 1.2 million dollars allegedly spent in hiring buses for the evacuation of Nigerian students in Sudan was due to the dire need of the war situation.
This is contained in a statement signed by the spokesperson of the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Mrs Rhoda Iliya.
It was also signed by officials of the ministry of foreign affairs Ambassador Janet Olisa and Dr Sani Gwarzo of Humanitarian affairs ministry in Abuja on Saturday.
“The outcry over the negotiated sum of 1.2 million dollars for the buses hired for the exercise, is uncalled for.
“The amount in question was negotiated in a condition of war and where there are competing demands for same bus services by other countries also trying to evacuate their citizens.
“The general public is hereby advised to discountenance the unverified information being circulated on the social media as some of them are either due to ignorance or sheer mischief,” it said.
The statement also appealed for cooperation and understanding of all Nigerians in the ongoing efforts to ensure all Nigerians stranded in Sudan are returned home safely.
“The first batch of 13 buses conveying six hundred and thirty seven (637) evacuees had arrived the identified safe borders at Aswan, Egypt.
“The evacuees are undergoing necessary documentation and clearance before admission into the Egyptian territory for their eventual evacuation to Nigeria in the coming hours by the Nigerian Air Force and Air Peace airline, who have been on standby for the operations.
“However, the movement of the second batch of 29 buses will commence on April 29 and the evacuees are advised to be at the designated locations with only one luggage.”
It advised Nigerian students awaiting evacuation from Khartoum to cooperate with embassy officials for proper documentation while embarking on the buses to the designated locations.
“This will go a long way in speeding up the process and avoiding unnecessary delays with documentation and clearance upon arrival at the Aswan, Egypt.”
The government expressed commitment towards successful evacuation of all Nigerians stranded in Sudan before the expiration of the extended 72 hours ceasefire agreement.
“We want to use this opportunity to extend our appreciation to friendly countries who have in one way or the other assisted in bringing succour to Nigerians fleeing the war in Sudan.
“Particularly, Nigeria acknowledges the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for graciously assisting with the evacuation of eight Nigerians from Sudan to safety in its territory, from where they would be airlifted back to Nigeria,” the statement added.