In light of the ongoing disturbance in Sudan, the federal government has defended the amount spent on buses to evacuate Nigerians from the country.
Geoffery Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, stated on Wednesday that all 40 buses that will be used to transport Nigerians from Sudan will cost approximately $1.2 million.
The minister explained that the high expense of the evacuation was necessary to provide security for Nigerians travelling to the Egyptian borders.
Many social media users criticised the cited price for the buses in response to the news of the development.
In a joint statement issued on Saturday in response to the clamour, the ministries of foreign affairs and humanitarian affairs described the criticism as “unwarranted.”
According to them, the federal government “negotiated in a state of war and in the context of competing demands for the same bus services from other nations attempting to evacuate their citizens.”
“The general public is also advised to disregard unverified information circulating on social media, as some of it is either the result of ignorance or malicious intent,” the statement reads.
“The outcry over the $1.2 million negotiated price for the buses contracted for the exercise is unwarranted.
“The amount in question was negotiated during a time of war, when other countries were also attempting to evacuate their citizens using the same bus services.”
“Therefore, the cooperation and understanding of all parties are necessary to supplement ongoing efforts to ensure the safe return of every Nigerian imprisoned in Sudan.”
According to the federal government, 637 Nigerians have safely reached the Egyptian frontier.
It is anticipated that the second phase of the evacuation exercise will continue today.