Through a joint effort of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Federal Government, another 159 Nigerian irregular migrants were on Tuesday successfully repatriated from Libya.
Amb. Kabiru Musa, Chargé D’affaires en titre of the Nigerian Mission to Libya, made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Musa disclosed that the 159 evacuees left Mitiga International Airport, Tripoli, at 2:30p.m and are expected to arrive at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, at 6:40p.m Nigerian time.
He said the evacuation process would continue until all stranded Nigerians in Libya who wish to return home voluntarily are brought to Nigeria safe and sound.
“We have again successfully evacuated another batch of 159 stranded Nigerians from Libya. As you know, most of them here are irregular migrants without travel documents and consequently face difficult situations in the country.
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“With the collaboration of IOM and Libyan authorities, we evacuated 159 stranded Nigerians, which included 65 men, 61women, 19 children and 14 infants.
“They departed Mitiga International Airport, Tripoli aboard chartered flight, UZ0189 by 2.30 p.m local time, and are expected to arrive Nigeria via the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos by 6.40 p.m Nigerian time”, he said.
He said: “The Federal Government and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, have taken this as a priority to ensure that none of its citizens will be left stranded in a foreign country. The exercise is worldwide, and not limited to Libya alone.”
According to Musa, the federal government has made arrangements to ensure the reintegration of the returnees.
“Arrangements have also been made by the Federal government for relevant agencies to receive them upon arrival, and ensure their reintegration into the society”.
Musa revealed that over 3,000 Nigerians had returned to Nigeria from Libya between January and November 2022 under the IOM’s voluntary humanitarian return programme.