By John Ikani
Due to the ongoing armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the governments of Hungary and Romania have waived their visa requirements to allow Nigerians with Ukrainian resident permits entry, either on transit to Nigeria, or to temporarily reside in the country.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gabriel Aduda, disclosed the development in a statement issued in Abuja, yesterday.
He advised Nigerians fleeing Ukraine to move to the Hungarian Zahony border and Romanian Suceava, Tulcea, Satu Mare County and Maramures borders.
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: [email protected],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.
“Finally, further necessary updates will be regularly communicated through the official website of the Embassy (www.nigerianembassy.hu). Please disregard any information purportedly issued by the Embassy about entry into Hungary, that is not conveyed via Mission’s website, the statement said.