By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (SundiataPost) – The Federal Government says 160 women claiming to be Nigerians in Sudan have no passports to fly back to the country.
The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Ahmed stated this in Abuja on Sunday while briefing the press on the progress made so far in the evacuation of Nigerians from war-torn Sudan.
According to him, although the women claimed to be Nigerians, they do not possess Nigerian passports to verify their claims.
He said the agency is being careful not to evacuate persons who are not Nigerians.
It will be recalled that before the commencement of the evacuation exercise, the Nigerian Diaspora Commission had said there were about three million Nigerians in Sudan and a total of 5,000 students
However, the NEMA boss said apart from the 2,518 Nigerians that have so far been evacuated and 15 flights operated so far, the citizenship of many of those claiming to be Nigerians cannot be verified.
He said some of them claimed their great-grandparents up to the fifth generation were Nigerians while they were born in Sudan but that remains unverified.
He disclosed how some desperate Sudanese tried to enter the vehicles that were meant to move Nigerians from Sudan to Egypt border.
Asked how much was expended to evacuate Nigerians from Sudan, Ahmed did not give the exact amount but he disclosed that Nigeria paid a total of $22,662 as exit fees at the point of moving the evacuees from Sudan and $62,950 dollars for entry visa into Egypt.
Meanwhile, NEMA said the door of opportunities is opened to any Nigerian with verified documents who is interested in returning to the country.
Among the 2,518 Nigerian returnees is a pregnant woman who was said to have given birth while waiting to be evacuated. Her child was the only infant among the evacuees. The eight-day infant is currently being treated for jaundice at the University Of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada.
No Nigerian life was lost to the war in Sudan, according to NEMA. However, a total of 23 sick evacuees were received, out of which 10 were treated on arrival by medics while 13 were referred to the 108 Nigerian Airforce Hospital, Abuja.