The Federal Government says about 7,000 nationals including Nigerians are stranded at the Egyptian border on their way from Sudan.
This is according to the Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
A Friday statement by Gabriel Odu of the Media, Public Relations, and Protocols Unit of NIDCOM quoted Dabiri-Erewa as expressing concern over the plight of those affected.
“Dabiri-Erewa said over 7000 Nationals, including Nigerians, are not being allowed to cross the border into Egypt since their arrival late yesterday evening,” the statement read.
“She added that The Nigerian mission in Egypt has been working tirelessly on this as the Egyptian authorities are insisting on visas by fellow Africans to transit back to their countries.
“She appealed to the Egyptian authorities to kindly allow the already traumatized travelers to transit to their final destinations in various countries in Africa.”
The appeal is coming days after the Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama said the Federal Government hired 40 buses at $1.2 million for the evacuation of Nigerians from the war-torn North African country.
Since then, some Nigerians stranded in Sudan have reached Egypt from where they would be taken back home, a fact corroborated by the NIDCOM boss.
“13 buses of about 60 people have already left. We are hoping that they would get into as one later this evening, but we are monitoring them. It is not a very pleasant situation, mission officials are waiting to receive them,” she told said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday.
In the wake of the development, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said it will start the airlifting of Nigerian evacuees from Egypt on Friday.
“The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Air Peace, and other Airlines have received clearance to fly to Egypt. The NAF C-130H is scheduled to leave Abuja tomorrow, 28th April 2023 to commence the airlifting of the evacuees,” said Amb. Janet Olisa of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It also said plans have been finalised to airlift all Nigerians that have already escaped on their own to safety in other countries neighbouring Sudan.