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Editorial News of Monday, 28 February 2022


Ukraine: Aisha Buhari urges FG to wave coronavirus test fees for returning citizens

Nigeria's first lady, Aisha Buhari Nigeria's first lady, Aisha Buhari

Nigeria's first lady, Aisha Buhari has called on the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to wave the payment of the test for arrival of Nigerian citizens from Ukraine.

Mrs. Buhari made the comment as efforts intensify by Nigeria's diplomats in Ukraine to evacuate stranded citizens held up in the attacks by Russia.

"I am pleased to learn of efforts by our diplomats to facilitate the safe return of our teeming citizens from Ukraine. "I plead with the leadership of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 to wave the payment for their Covid test in lieu of their arrival, abolish similar payments for all home-bound children and reduce the fees chargeable for the tests to all Nigerians," she said in a Facebook post.

In a related story, the Federal government has announced that there is a visa-free arrangement for Nigerians arriving from Ukraine through the borders in Romania and Hungary.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gabriel Adudar, made this known in a statement on Sunday, February 27, 2021.

Adudar also said due to the challenges faced by Nigerians crossing into countries bordering Ukraine, especially the Polish border, the government has arranged accommodation and feeding pending evacuation.

The statement read, “The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs has spoken with his counterpart, the Foreign Minister of Ukraine on this unsavoury development and both are working on alleviating the suffering of Nigerians including deploying the International Organisation for Migration to the border to ensure easier access to all Nigerians and other nationals.

“For now, movement to the Hungarian Zahony border and Romanian Suceava, Tulcea, Satu Mare County & Maramures borders is advised, as they have approved visa-free access to all Nigerians coming from Ukraine and arrangements for accommodation and feeding before evacuation is arranged.

“Parents, guardians, and wards of Nigerians in Ukraine are please enjoined to remain calm as the Federal Government of Nigeria is working very hard to get them all home safely.

“Similarly, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Budapest, Hungary in a Public Travel Advisory said, it wishes to inform Nigerian nationals arriving from Ukraine, that the Government of Hungary has enacted Decree 56/2022 (24.11), which permits third-country nationals with valid Ukrainian resident permits to enter Hungary on a temporary basis, without a Schengen visa.

“As such, Nigerians arriving at the Hungary-Ukraine border can enter Hungary, either on transit to Nigeria, or to temporarily reside in the country.”
It further stated that arrangements are underway for the transportation of Nigerians nationals, to enable them stabilise.

“To that effect, therefore, affected Nigerian nationals wishing to be admitted into Hungary are advised to have their travel documents (valid Nigerian passport and Ukrainian resident permit) with some money in Euros, and cooperate with the Hungarian border authorities.

“Affected Nigerian nationals are advised to send their names, phone numbers, email addresses, and a copy of their passport biodata page to the Embassy’s consular email: secretary@nigerianembassy,hu, to enable the facilitation of the aforementioned arrangements.

“For information and guidance on consular assistance, please contact the following persons, who would be on ground to coordinate: I. Mr. Stanley OPARA (Consular Officer) +36308202903 Il. Mr. Ayotunde Adigun (Immigration Attache)+36308639203 4.

“Finally, further necessary updates will be regularly communicated through the official website of the Embassy ( Please disregard any information purportedly issued by the Embassy about entry into Hungary, that is not conveyed via Mission’s website.”