The Nigerian Government on Saturday cleared the air on why it negotiated the sum of $1.2 million for the buses hired to evacuate Nigerians from Sudan due to the ongoing crisis in the country, The PUNCH reports.
It explained that the amount in question was negotiated in a “condition of war”.
The government made the clarification in a joint statement issued on Saturday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
The statement was signed by the Director overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, MFA, Amb. Janet Olisa, and Permanent Secretary, FMHADMSD, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo.
“The general public is also advised to discountenance unverified information being circulated on social media as some of them are either due to ignorance or sheer mischief. The outcry over the negotiated sum of $1.2 million 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 the same bus services by other countries also trying to evacuate their citizens. Therefore, cooperation and understanding of all and sundry are required to complement ongoing efforts aimed at ensuring the safe return of every Nigerian trapped in Sudan,” the statement clarified.
The PUNCH reports that Nigerian students stranded due to the ongoing crisis in Sudan have accused the Federal Government of abandoning them in Khartoum, the country’s capital.
This is just as the hopes of Nigerians stranded in Sudan returning to Nigeria on Friday were dashed, amid the controversy surrounding their evacuation from the crisis-torn country.
The government had released N150m for hiring 40 buses to convey its desperate citizens from Sudan to Cairo in Egypt.
The money was said to have been paid to an undisclosed transport company on Tuesday at 12:37 pm by the Central Bank of Nigeria through the National Emergency Management Agency.