152 stranded Nigerians in Russia to arrive Abuja 6pm today

A total of 152 Nigerians who were stranded in Russia after the 2018 FIFA World Cup are expected to be flown into the country by 6pm this evening.

A statement issued by the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tope Adeleye Elias- Fatile, noted that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has been working very closely with the Minister of State for Aviation following President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that Nigerians who were stranded in the Russian Federation at the end of the 2018 World Cup tournament should be evacuated immediately.

Further to this, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been monitoring the process of the evacuation, which is under the coordination of the Mission of Nigeria in Moscow.

The stranded Nigerians had been cleared to board an Ethiopian Airline flight to Abuja. The aircraft arrived Moscow from Addis Ababa at 13.20 hours (local time) earlier today and would depart Domodedovo Airport in Moscow with the stranded Nigerians at 08.30 hours, Friday, 20th July, 2018 to arrive Abuja at 18.00 hours same day.

“It would be recalled that over 150 stranded Nigerians besieged the Embassy of Nigeria in Moscow on Thursday 12th July, 2018. They were among the fans who travelled to the Russian Federation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Tournament and were stranded after the events due to lack of funds for their upkeep as well as allegation that some airline travel agents cancelled return tickets of their customers without their knowledge.

” Consequently, the Mission submitted a formal complaint to host authorities against the airlines that brought the stranded Nigerians to the Russian Federation, especially those without return tickets and highlighted that it contravened the rules and regulations of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The Mission also made arrangements for the feeding and accommodation of the stranded Nigerians in hostels around Moscow. On Monday 16th of July, 2018, Mr. President directed that they should be evacuated to Abuja immediately,” the statement said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to monitor the evacuation process and keep the public informed, as appropriate, the statement added.

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