The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) yesterday received another batch of 174 Nigerians who had been stranded in Libya as they arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
Acting Coordinator of the Lagos Territorial Office of the Agency, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, said that the Nigerians arrived at the cargo wing of the airport at 3:45p.m. aboard a Boeing 737-800 of Al Buraq Air with registration number 5A-DMG.
He said that the returnees were brought back to the country by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) through a voluntary repatriation programme. The acting coordinator said the programme was meant for distressed Nigerians who had left the country to seek greener pastures in various European countries but could not afford to return when their journey became frustrating.
Farinloye said that the returnees comprised 75 male adults, 69 female adults, 12 male and five female children, 10 female infant and three male infants.
He said that 23 among the returnees had minor medical cases. This year alone, this flight was the 12th recorded in Lagos that brought returnees from Libya.”
He said that so far, about 2, 044 Nigerian returnees from Libya had been assisted back to the country through Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Ikeja in 2022..
He enjoined the returnees to turn a new leaf in looking for opportunities in the country that are enough for everyone to achieve their desired goals.
“We admonished the returnees on the need to realise that there’s no country better than Nigeria.
” Here you have all the freedom to achieve your potential; looking for greener pastures in foreign lands is no longer a reality, those countries are not better off when you consider the challenges you encounter there and here.
”You are encouraged to be positive ambassadors toward advocacy and sensitisation against irregular migration that leave the youths vulnerable to all sorts of abuses and death in extreme cases. There are ample opportunities for all of us to thrive and live happily in virtuous and God fearing manners in Nigeria without unnecessarily exposing ourselves to undeserved dangers in foreign lands,” he said.
Farinloye said that the returnees were received by NEMA, along with other sister agencies such as: Immigration Service, Refugee Commission, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Police.