Saudi Arabian Government, under the supervision of its Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, has evacuated 292 Nigerians on Umrah pilgrims back to the country.
The pilgrims were stranded after international flights were suspended for almost two months, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, confirmed this in a tweet on Wednesday.
“We received 292 evacuees stranded in Saudi Arabia yesterday (Tuesday). “
The Saudi Government transported them to Abuja. “A large number are nursing mothers and children and they are all comfortably settled in hotels under the mandatory 14 days quarantine,” he tweeted.
9News Nigeria gathered that the flight that conveyed them was a Saudi Airline flight and among the evacuees were about 30 Nigerian undergraduate and postgraduate students who were on scholarship in the Kingdom.
9News Nigeria also learnt that the federal government was in talks with Ethiopia Airlines to evacuate other stranded Nigerians in the Kingdom. A source in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said many of those stranded have indicated interest to come back home but have not yet paid for their flight tickets.