The first batch of Nigerians stranded in Ukraine have arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Abike Dabiri, chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, who confirmed this in a tweet, said they arrived from Romania on Friday morning.
She said , “First batch of Nigerians from #Ukraine arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja from Romania at 7:10 am.”
The returnees, numbering 451, arrived aboard Max Air.
The passengers landed at the private jet terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by 7:10 am (WAT) via a Max Air flight on Friday.
They are mostly students who fled Ukraine to Romania following Russia’s invasion of the Eastern European country.
They were received by government officials and are expected to undergo documentation after which they will head home and self-isolate in line with the COVID-19 protocols.
The Federal Government said they will be given some money to enable them to get to their destinations.
Friday’s flight, which was billed to arrive a day earlier, was delayed as the Federal Government cited a hitch in preparing passengers for the check-in process.
Over a million people have fled Ukraine amid the conflict, according to humanitarian agencies.
Aside from Romania, the pickup flights will evacuate Nigerians from Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.
Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had earlier said about 5, 000 Nigerians are eligible for evacuation from the warring region. The country will spend $8.5 million on the exercise.
Other flights are expected to arrive in the country in the coming days as nations battle to evacuate their citizens.
Already, several African countries had moved their citizens, mainly students, from the conflict zone. Ghana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa were among the first set of nations to evacuate their citizens amid reports of racism by Ukrainian and Polish officials at the border posts.