#WorldCup: FG Spends $1m To Airlift Stranded Nigerian, Ghanaian Fans From Russia
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has said that the federal government spent $1 million to evacuate Nigerians who were stranded in Russia after the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament.
The minister, who stated this on Monday in Abuja while fielding questions from newsmen, added that the evacuation was done in two batches of 155 persons and 200 persons.
He said that the second batch of 200 fans were returned to the country along with 17 Ghanaian football fans also stranded in Russia on Sunday.
“About 200 of them were brought back yesterday (Sunday) at a cost of one million US dollars to the country. $500,000 to charter the first plane and another $500,000 for the second,” he said.
According to him, the amount covered both the first batch of 155 Nigerians that were earlier airlifted and the second batch that were returned home on Sunday.
He said by airlifting the 17 Ghanaians, Nigeria had again brought to the fore, its Big Brother role on the continent of Africa.
He said the Ghanaian authorities had appreciated the gesture through its Minister of Foreign Affairs as the returnees were transported to Ghana on Monday
Onyeama said: “A week ago, we learnt that there was another huge number of Nigerians stranded and Russian authorities were going to take very strong measures and yet again, Mr President directed that another plane should be made available to go and bring them back. And they were 200 of them that were brought back yesterday (Sunday) at a cost of $1 million to the country.
“It is a clear example that Mr President is determined to safeguard Nigerians and the interest of Nigerians wherever they might be compromised anywhere in the world. He was very quick to do this.”