FG reveals why Nigeria has not evacuated students from Saudi Arabia
Recall that the students had accused the Ministry, the country’s mission in Riyadh and the Consulate General of Nigeria in Jedda of deliberately refusing to facilitate their evacuation to Nigeria for holiday since 15th May, 2020.
Reacting to the development, the Ministry in a statement signed by its Spokesperson, Mr. Ferdinand Nwoye said the Saudi Airline that was contracted for the evacuation never informed the Embassy of the dates or sought for approvals from Nigeria through the established diplomatic means.
The statement stated in part,
“The Ministry wishes to state that the Nigerian Mission in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in line with Federal Government guidelines for the evacuation of Nigerian Nationals stranded in different parts of the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been engaging relevant host authorities to facilitate the evacuation of Nigerians from the Kingdom. Though the Saudi Airlines fixed 8th July and 1st August, 2020 respectively, the Airline never informed the Embassy of the dates or sought for approval of the proposed dates from Nigeria either through the Embassy of Nigeria in Riyadh or the Consulate General of Nigeria in Jedda, which is against the spirit of established diplomatic protocols, hence the inability to operate the said flights.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also wishes to put it on record that the Embassy Officials did not demand for any commission of graft from the Airlines as insinuated by the misinformed select Nigerian Students, whose allegations have since been condemned and refuted by the leadership of Nigerian Students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“The Ministry wishes to recall that the Embassy of Nigeria in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia successfully facilitated the evacuation of 117 Nigerians from the Kingdom via Azman Air Services Limited, Flight No: ZQ381 of 19th July, 2020, and is committed in ensuring that the right processes and established guidelines are adhered to in the evacuation of Nigerian Nationals.
“The unfortunate allegations by the misinformed students are therefore absolutely false and should be disregarded.”