The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed that it plans to evacuate over 2,000 Nigerians in crisis-hit Sudan through Cairo on Tuesday 25th April, 2023.
The confirmation was given by the Director, Special Duties Onimode Bandele during a live appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday.
The Director stated that nobody has been evacuated yet, as he spoke with the Nigerian Ambassador in Khartoum earlier.
According to him, the movement of Nigerians to be evacuated is being perfected between the Nigerian embassy in Khartoum and the NEMA director general.
“It is true that there are plans to get buses to start moving tomorrow morning. And as I speak to you, the Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, Mustapha Habib, is already in Cairo because that is the window that we are looking at.”
Asked how many Nigerians to be removed from the troubled North African country, Bandele stated that evacuation of a few thousand citizens are in the works.
“Our projection was that most students and others who want to evacuate are about 5,000. But with my discussion with the ambassador this morning, the plan is for about 2,650-2,800 to move immediately, including families of embassy staff.
“As these plans continue, we’ll be able to update you with the actual figure and the exact time of departure from Khartoum to Cairo,” he said.
The Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama had on Sunday assured the Federal Government was working around the clock to evacuate Nigerians stranded in Sudan.
“So, we have been working round the clock for the last two days to try and get the Nigerians out,” he said on Channel Tv’s Sunday Politics, adding that the country’s embassy has been mandated to open a platform to register the nation’s citizens in Sudan.
According to the Foreign Minister, there are about 5,500 Nigerians in Sudan, with 80% of them being students.
Until the evacuations, the minister stated that Federal Government agencies like the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) are working to provide relief to Nigerians stranded in the country whom he advised should “stay where you are” before the evacuation begins.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur