Nigeria: Sudan – Gbajabiamila Blames ‘Interagency Disagreement’ for Challenges in Evacuating Nigerians, Summons Officials
Mr Gbajabiamila said the House will review the legal framework establishing the agencies to prevent future occurrences.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila says “interagency disagreements” is to be blamed for the challenges that have dogged the evacuation of Nigerians from war-ravaged Sudan.
Mr Gbajabiamila stated this on Tuesday in his speech at the resumption of plenary.
He stated that the challenges with the evacuation are caused by “interagency disagreements arising from overlapping mandates and the absence of established operational guidelines for such circumstances.”
“The House is aware of ongoing difficulties with the evacuation efforts and the federal government’s response to the developments in the Republic of Sudan,” Mr Gbajabiamila said.
To address the problem, Mr Gbajabiamila mandated the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to summon the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, officials from the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to brief the House.
“I have requested the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to invite the honourable minister of Foreign Affairs and officials from the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to appear before the House to give an account of the status of evacuation efforts,” he said.
He added that the House will review the legal framework establishing the agencies to prevent future occurrences.
“We must further revisit the statutory and other frameworks that have left us seemingly unprepared to respond promptly and effectively,” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that the Nigerian government commenced the first phase of the evacuation of its citizens from troubled Sudan on Wednesday with the hiring of 40 buses.
However, the arrival of the first batch of evacuees has been delayed due to logistics and diplomatic issues at the Egyptian border, the head of NiDCOM Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said Thursday.
The Nigerians arrived at the Egyptian border but were not let into Egypt by the authorities there.
On Monday, Mrs Dabiri-Erewa announced that Nigeria had finally secured entrance documents to Egypt for the evacuees after the direct intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari.
All the evacuees, over 5,000 people mainly students, are expected to be airlifted from Egypt to Nigeria.