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Over 7,000 Nigerians repatriated from Libya so far

A total of 7,746 Nigerians have been repatriated to Nigeria from Libya so far under the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) voluntary return and rehabilitation programme, which is being implemented in collaboration with the European Union (EU).

The newest group of 165 voluntary returnees arrived back in Nigeria on 3 May on a chartered aircraft, with the assistance of IOM.

The head of the IOM’s mission in Nigera, Enira Krdzalic, gave an account from Lagos during the arrival of the latest group of returnees from Libya.

According to Krdzalic, 600 returnees have been rehabilitated already, while another 200 are to be rehabilitated.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the latest returnees were given a stipend of N17,100 each and transported to the Jibowu Park to choose their respective destinations.

Krdzalic appealed to the Nigerian government to enhance efforts to provide employment opportunities to the returnees and stressed the need to educate Nigerians on the dangers of irregular migration in the quest for greener pastures outside the country.

Alhaji Mustapha Maihaja, the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said they are collaborating with IOM to ensure that Nigerians stranded in Libya were brought back home.

“We are here to ensure that they are well received. We feed and give them money to enable them get back to their respective destinations,” he said.

The South West Zonal Coordinator for NEMA, Mr. Suleiman Yakubu, commented on the need for Nigerian youths to assist in nation building by having the right mentality about their country and staying home.

“A lot of initiatives have been put in place by the present administration to ensure that life is better in Nigeria,’’ he said.

Maihaja added that various state governments, particularly Edo State, had introduced skills acquisition programmes to help rehabilitate and reintegrate the returnees into society. He also disclosed that a similar initiative from IOM will take off in July.

NAN reported that according to the Charge d’Affaires of Nigeria in Libya, Mr. Illiya Fachano, the Federal Government has repatriated 1,213 Nigerians from Libya in the first quarter of 2018.

While commending the federal government’s efforts to facilitate their return to Nigeria, the returnees appealed to the government for assistance in getting their lives back.

TMP – 07/06/2018