Caribbean Islands huriricane. [Photo credit: BBC]

Nigeria evacuates nationals in Caribbean Islands devastated by hurricane

The Federal Government has directed evacuation of Nigerians in some countries in the Caribbean Islands especially in Commonwealth of Dominica after the devastating effects of hurricane in the area.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesperson, Tope Elias-Fatile, said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Recently, some countries in the Caribbean Islands were devastated by hurricanes, beginning with Irma, Jose and lastly, Hurricane Maria.

Mr. Fatile noted that there had not been reported death of any Nigerian citizen in the affected countries by the Nigerian Missions covering the region.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been following the situation of Nigerians in the Commonwealth of Dominica that experienced the most severe impact of Hurricane Maria.

“Further to this, there are ongoing efforts to ensure that all Nigerians are safe in their various locations and where necessary, they should be evacuated, especially as it is in the case of Nigerians in the Commonwealth of Dominica.

“There are approximately 500 Nigerians living in Roseau, the capital of that country, most of whom are medical students at the All Saints University,” he said.

He said the permanent secretary, Olukunle Bamgbose, also directed the Nigerian High Commission in Trinidad and Tobago to effect evacuation of Nigerians in the area.

Mr. Bamgbose said the mission would work closely with the International Organisation for Migration, and other relevant authorities in that country to evacuate them.

Mr. Fatile said Nigerian Mission in Trinidad and Tobago had been working to verify these Nigerians and issue relevant travelling documents to them to facilitate their relocation.

He said 236 Nigerians, who are students of All Saint University, were evacuated on September 27 with a ferry named “L-Express” to the neighbouring St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“It is expected that the last batch of these students would be evacuated today implying that all Nigerian students in that country would have been evacuated by the end of the day,” he said.

Mr. Fatile said that prior to their relocation the Mission was in constant touch with the President of All Saint University, Joshua Yusuf.

He said that Mr. Yusuf had consistently confirmed that logistics and other arrangements had been put in place for the students in the temporary accommodation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

He noted that Hurricane Maria destroyed 90 per cent of the Island country of Dominica, which is a popular destination for International Medical students.

“Subsequently, the country was cut off from the outside world, the international airport has been closed for commercial flight and the people have no basic food items, portable water or means of identification.

“Meanwhile, the government of that country is canvassing for foreign aid to address these problems,” he said. (NAN)

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