The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said Nigerians stranded in Moscow, Russia at the end of the 2018 World Cup would be evacuated on Friday.
The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Tope Elias-Fatile, confirmed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
Elias-Fatile said over 230 stranded Nigerians had been cleared to board an Ethiopian Airline flight to Abuja on Friday.
He said the development was sequel to President Muhammadu’s directive that stranded Nigerians in Russia be evacuated with immediate effect.
According to him, the Ministry and the Nigerian Mission in Moscow in collaboration with the Ministry of Aviation have been monitoring the process of the evacuation.
He said: “As at the last count, over 230 stranded Nigerians had been cleared to board an Ethiopian Airline flight to Abuja.
“The aircraft would depart Domodedovo Airport in Moscow with the stranded Nigerians at 08.30 hours Friday, July, 20th and arrive Abuja at 16.00 hours same day.”
Elias-Fatile noted that over 150 stranded Nigerians were among the fans who travelled to the Russian Federation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament that besieged the Embassy of Nigeria in Moscow on July 12th.
The fans, according to him, 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.
He said: “Consequently, the Mission submitted a formal complaint to host authorities against the airlines that brought the stranded Nigerians to the Russian Federation.
“The Mission also made arrangements for the feeding and accommodation of the stranded Nigerians in hostels around Moscow.”
Elias-Fatile noted that President Buhari had on July 16 directed the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Aviation to evacuate the Nigerians to Abuja immediately.
He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would continue to monitor the evacuation process and keep the public informed.